Is the lotus leaf superhydrophobic?

Yang Tse Cheng, Daniel E. Rodak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

538 Scopus citations

Abstract

Superhydrophobic surfaces have important technical applications ranging from self-cleaning window glasses, paints, and fabrics to low-friction surfaces. The archetype superhydrophobic surface is that of the lotus leaf. When rain falls on lotus leaves, water beads up with a contact angle in the superhydrophobic range of about 160°. The water drops promptly roll off the leaves collecting dirt along the way. This lotus effect has, in recent years, stimulated much research effort worldwide in the fabrication of surfaces with superhydrophobicity. But, is the lotus surface truly superhydrophobic? This work shows that the lotus leaves can be either hydrophobic or hydrophilic, depending on how the water gets on to their surfaces. This finding has significant ramifications on how to make and use superhydrophobic surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144101
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume86
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 4 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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