Open Access Nano Review

Wettability Switching Techniques on Superhydrophobic Surfaces

Nicolas Verplanck1, Yannick Coffinier12, Vincent Thomy1* and Rabah Boukherroub12

Author Affiliations

1 Institut d’Electronique, de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie (IEMN), UMR 8520, Cité Scientifique, Avenue Poincaré, B.P. 60069, 59652, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

2 Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire (IRI), FRE 2963, Cité Scientifique, Avenue Poincaré, B.P. 60069, 59652, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 2:577-596  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9102-4

Published: 13 November 2007


The wetting properties of superhydrophobic surfaces have generated worldwide research interest. A water drop on these surfaces forms a nearly perfect spherical pearl. Superhydrophobic materials hold considerable promise for potential applications ranging from self cleaning surfaces, completely water impermeable textiles to low cost energy displacement of liquids in lab-on-chip devices. However, the dynamic modification of the liquid droplets behavior and in particular of their wetting properties on these surfaces is still a challenging issue. In this review, after a brief overview on superhydrophobic states definition, the techniques leading to the modification of wettability behavior on superhydrophobic surfaces under specific conditions: optical, magnetic, mechanical, chemical, thermal are discussed. Finally, a focus on electrowetting is made from historical phenomenon pointed out some decades ago on classical planar hydrophobic surfaces to recent breakthrough obtained on superhydrophobic surfaces.

Microfluidic; Superhydrophobic surfaces; Wettability switching; Electrowetting