Self-cleaning of superhydrophobic surfaces by self-propelled jumping condensate

Wisdom, Katrina, Watson, Jolanta, Qu, Xiaopeng, Liu, Fangjie, Watson, Gregory, and Chen, Chuan-Hua (2013) Self-cleaning of superhydrophobic surfaces by self-propelled jumping condensate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 (20). pp. 7992-7997.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


The self-cleaning function of superhydrophobic surfaces is conventionally attributed to the removal of contaminating particles by impacting or rolling water droplets, which implies the action of external forces such as gravity. Here, we demonstrate a unique self-cleaning mechanism whereby the contaminated superhydrophobic surface is exposed to condensing water vapor, and the contaminants are autonomously removed by the self-propelled jumping motion of the resulting liquid condensate, which partially covers or fully encloses the contaminating particles. The jumping motion off the superhydrophobic surface is powered by the surface energy released upon coalescence of the condensed water phase around the contaminants. The jumping-condensate mechanism is shown to spontaneously clean superhydrophobic cicada wings, where the contaminating particles cannot be removed by gravity, wing vibration, or wind flow. Our findings offer insights for the development of self-cleaning materials.

Item ID: 28736
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: particle adhesion and removal, water-repellant insect wings, nanostructured interfaces, capillary forces
Related URLs:
Additional Information:

Supporting information including AVI files available from the publisher in the Related URLs field.

Funders: James Cook University, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Intel Corporation, National Science Foundation (USA), North Carolina Space Grant
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 05:39
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029901 Biological Physics @ 30%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1007 Nanotechnology > 100708 Nanomaterials @ 30%
03 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 0303 Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry > 030304 Physical Chemistry of Materials @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 80%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 20%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page