About this Research Topic
Wettability is one of the most basic properties of solid surfaces which mainly depends on the surface chemical composition and structures. Materials showing superwettability properties are most captivating due to their rich practical applications in areas such as liquid repellence, small droplet manipulation, self-cleaning materials, oil/water separation, anti-icing, microfluidics, cell engineering, fog harvest, underwater gas collection, and so on. After millions of years of slow evolution and natural selection, the surface of some animals and plants have developed perfect special wettability like lotus leaves, rose petals, rice leaves, butterfly wings, mosquito eyes, desert beetles, water striders, fish scale, etc. Inspired by nature, various types of superwetting surfaces have since been artificially fabricated such as superhydrophilic surfaces, superhydrophobic surfaces, superoleophilic surfaces, superoleophobic surfaces, superaerophilic surfaces, superaerophobic surfaces, and super-slippery surfaces. There are many opportunities and challenges involved in designing more complicated and subtle superwetting surfaces and developing more practical applications.
Inspired by the various superwetting phenomena observed in nature, various kinds of superwettabilities (e.g., superhydrophilicity, superhydrophobicity, superoleophilicity, superoleophobicity, superaerophilicity, superaerophobicity, and super-slippery properties) are usually obtained by the combination of proper surface microstructures and chemical composition. Although many important achievements in superwettability have been accomplished in the past two decades, the development of superwetting materials is still in its early stages. There are still many challenges that need to be addressed. For example, more research is required to further understand the forming principle of different superwetting systems. The fundamental theory plays a very important guiding role in fabrication and applications of superwetting surfaces. The relationship between different superwettabilities should also be studied, because it is important in the design of different superwetting microstructures, the interconversion between different superwettabilities, and better application of the artificial superwetting materials. This Research Topic presents recent developments of different superwetting surfaces inspired by nature, mainly focusing on the classification, design principles, and relationship between different types of superwettabilities. Subjects covered may include:
• Fundamentals of superwetting systems: classification, formation principle, and achievement of different superwetting properties
• Relationship between different superwettabilities: how to extend from one superwettability to other superwettabilities and achieve the interconversion between different superwettabilities
• Development of artificial superwetting materials from the laboratory stage to the industrialization and real applications: simple, rapid, efficient, low-cost technologies for constructing superwetting surfaces with high mechanical and chemical durability
• Novel superwetting phenomena
• Advanced applications of artificial materials with superwettability properties
Keywords: superwetting, surface, bioinspired, biomimetics, functional surfaces
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