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ACS Nano. 2009 Oct 27;3(10):3031-6. doi: 10.1021/nn900846p.

Electrowetting control of Cassie-to-Wenzel transitions in superhydrophobic carbon nanotube-based nanocomposites.

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  • 1School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798 Singapore.


The possibility of effective control of the wetting properties of a nanostructured surface consisting of arrays of amorphous carbon nanoparticles capped on carbon nanotubes using the electrowetting technique is demonstrated. By analyzing the electrowetting curves with an equivalent circuit model of the solid/liquid interface, the long-standing problem of control and monitoring of the transition between the "slippy" Cassie state and the "sticky" Wenzel states is resolved. The unique structural properties of the custom-designed nanocomposites with precisely tailored surface energy without using any commonly utilized low-surface-energy (e.g., polymer) conformal coatings enable easy identification of the occurrence of such transition from the optical contrast on the nanostructured surfaces. This approach to precise control of the wetting mode transitions is generic and has an outstanding potential to enable the stable superhydrophobic capability of nanostructured surfaces for numerous applications, such as low-friction microfluidics and self-cleaning.

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