Microscopic observations of condensation of water on lotus leaves

Yang Tse Cheng, Daniel E. Rodak, Anastasios Angelopoulos, Ted Gacek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


We report an in situ observation of water condensation and evaporation on lotus leaf surfaces inside an environmental scanning electron microscope. The real-time observation shows, at the micrometer length scale, how water drops grow to large contact angles during water condensation, and decrease in size and contact angle during the evaporation phase of the experiment. To rationalize the observations, we propose a geometric model for liquid drops on rough surfaces when the size of the drop and surface roughness scale are comparable. This model suggests that when drop size and surface roughness are of the same magnitude, such as micrometer size water drops on lotus leaves, well-known equations for wetting on rough surfaces may not be applicable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194112
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 7 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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