Superwettability with antithetic states: Fluid repellency in immiscible liquids

Pingan Zhu, Tiantian Kong, Ye Tian, Xin Tang, Xiaowei Tian, Liqiu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A surface repels a fluid in an immiscible liquid when it stabilizes the former at a non-wetted Cassie state and the latter at a fully-wetted Wenzel state. Chemically, this occurs only when the former non-wets and the latter wets the surface. Here, we report the removal of the long-standing chemical constraints by harmonizing the antithetic states with rationally-designed anisotropic surface topology so that the super-repellency can appear in virtually any two-fluid system. Inspired by the 3D multi-layered structures of diatom frustules, our surface texture design introduces the required direction-dependent energetic barriers to create and stabilize the Cassie and Wenzel states, respectively. The multi-layered cage structure is found to be the best in achieving under-liquid repellency. We fabricate the required surface architecture by the microfluidics method and show experimentally its super-repellency of gas, water, and oils in all six types of fluid-liquid systems with a single micro-cage surface. Such super-repellent surfaces would be important in various fields that involve multiple fluids and anisotropic solid-liquid interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1165
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Horizons
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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