Droplets on Slippery Lubricant-Infused Porous Surfaces: A Macroscale to Nanoscale Perspective

QN Pham and SW Zhang and K Montazeri and Y Won, LANGMUIR, 34, 14439-14447 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b02765

A recent design approach in creating super-repellent surfaces through slippery surface lubrication offers tremendous liquid-shedding capabilities. Previous investigations have provided significant insights into droplet lubricant interfacial behaviors that govern antiwetting properties but have often studied using macroscale droplets. Despite drastically different governing characteristics of ultrasmall droplets on slippery lubricated surfaces, little is known about the effects at the micro- and nanoscale. In this investigation, we impregnate a three- dimensionally, well-ordered porous metal architecture with a lubricant to confirm durable slippery surfaces. We then reduce the droplet size to a nanoliter range and experimentally compare the droplet behaviors at different length scales. By experimentally varying the lubricant thickness levels, we also reveal that the effect of lubricant wetting around ultrasmall droplets is intensely magnified, which significantly affects the transient droplet dynamics. Molecular dynamics computations further examine the ultrasmall droplets with varying lubricant levels or pore cut levels at the nanoscale. The combined experimental and computational work provides insights into droplet interfacial phenomena on slippery surfaces from a macroscale to nanoscale perspective.

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