Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Slip-stick wetting and large contact angle hysteresis on wrinkled surfaces

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2011


Wetting on a corrugated surface that is formed via wrinkling of a hard skin layer formed by UV oxidation (UVO) of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) slab is studied using advancing and receding water contact angle measurements. The amplitude of the wrinkled pattern can be tuned through the pre-strain of the PDMS prior to surface oxidation. These valleys and peaks in the surface topography lead to anisotropic wetting by water droplets. As the droplet advances, the fluid is free to move along the direction parallel to the wrinkles, but the droplet moving orthogonal to the wrinkles encounters energy barriers due to the topography and slip-stick behavior is observed. As the wrinkle amplitude increases, anisotropy in the sessile droplet increases between parallel and perpendicular directions. For the drops receding perpendicular to the wrinkles formed at high strains, the contact angle tends to decrease steadily towards zero as the drop volume decreases, which can result in apparent hysteresis in the contact angle of over 100°. The wrinkled surfaces can exhibit high sessile and advancing contact angles (>115°), but the receding angle in these cases is generally vanishing as the drop is removed. This effect results in micrometer sized drops remaining in the grooves for these highly wrinkled surfaces, while the flat analogous UVO-treated PDMS shows complete removal of all macroscopic water drops under similar conditions. These wetting characteristics should be considered if these wrinkled surfaces are to be utilized in or as microfluidic devices.



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