Hydrophilic directional slippery rough surfaces for water harvesting

Xianming Dai, Nan Sun, Steven O. Nielsen, Birgitt Boschitsch Stogin, Jing Wang, Shikuan Yang, Tak Sing Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

378 Scopus citations


Multifunctional surfaces that are favorable for both droplet nucleation and removal are highly desirable for water harvesting applications but are rare. Inspired by the unique functions of pitcher plants and rice leaves, we present a hydrophilic directional slippery rough surface (SRS) that is capable of rapidly nucleating and removing water droplets. Our surfaces consist of nanotextured directional microgrooves in which the nanotextures alone are infused with hydrophilic liquid lubricant. We have shown through molecular dynamics simulations that the physical origin of the efficient droplet nucleation is attributed to the hydrophilic surface functional groups, whereas the rapid droplet removal is due to the significantly reduced droplet pinning of the directional surface structures and slippery interface. We have further demonstrated that the SRS, owing to its large surface area, hydrophilic slippery interface, and directional liquid repellency, outperforms conventional liquid-repellent surfaces in water harvesting applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberaaq0919
JournalScience Advances
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 30 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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