Polymer Surface Textured with Nanowire Bundles to Repel High-Speed Water Drops

Y. P. Li, X. Y. Li, X. P. Zhu, M. K. Lei, A. Lakhtakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Water drops impacting windshields of high-speed trains and aircraft as well as blades in steam turbine power generators obliquely and at high speeds are difficult to repel. Impacting drops penetrate the void regions of nanotextured and microtextured superhydrophobic coatings, with this pinning resulting in the loss of drop mobility. In order to repel high-speed water drops, we nanotextured polymer surfaces with nanowire bundles separated from their neighbors by microscale void regions, with the nanowires in a bundle separated from their neighbors by nanoscale void regions. Water drops with speeds below a critical speed rebound completely. Water drops with speeds exceeding a critical speed rebound partially, but residual droplets that begin to be pinned undergo a spontaneous dewetting process and slide off. The natural oscillations of residual droplets drive this dewetting process in the interbundle void regions, resulting in a transition from the sticky Wenzel state to the slippery Cassie state without external stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5871-5879
Number of pages9
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 22 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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