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Open Access Nano Express

Micro-nano hybrid structures with manipulated wettability using a two-step silicon etching on a large area

Beom Seok Kim, Sangwoo Shin, Seung Jae Shin, Kyung Min Kim and Hyung Hee Cho*

Author Affiliations

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University, 262, Seongsanno, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:333  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-333

Published: 14 April 2011


Nanoscale surface manipulation technique to control the surface roughness and the wettability is a challenging field for performance enhancement in boiling heat transfer. In this study, micro-nano hybrid structures (MNHS) with hierarchical geometries that lead to maximizing of surface area, roughness, and wettability are developed for the boiling applications. MNHS structures consist of micropillars or microcavities along with nanowires having the length to diameter ratio of about 100:1. MNHS is fabricated by a two-step silicon etching process, which are dry etching for micropattern and electroless silicon wet etching for nanowire synthesis. The fabrication process is readily capable of producing MNHS covering a wafer-scale area. By controlling the removal of polymeric passivation layers deposited during silicon dry etching (Bosch process), we can control the geometries for the hierarchical structure with or without the thin hydrophobic barriers that affect surface wettability. MNHS without sidewalls exhibit superhydrophilic behavior with a contact angle under 10°, whereas those with sidewalls preserved by the passivation layer display more hydrophobic characteristics with a contact angle near 60°.