The quest for extreme water repellency: Superhydrophobicity made easy
Saunders, G.C. (2009). The quest for extreme water repellency: Superhydrophobicity made easy. Chemistry in New Zealand, 73(3), 106-110.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4599
In his seminal work On Floating Bodies I Archimedes of Syracuse provided an explanation of the action of solid bodies on water. Although his thesis immediately benefitted King Heiro II² and has continued to serve mankind well, it ignores the effect of the interfacial interactions between the solid, water and air (surface tension). These interactions are negligible, or at least are considered negligible, compared to forces arising from the effect of gravity on large bodies. However, as the mass of the body decreases, the surface interactions become increasingly important leading to some unusual and potentially useful phenomena. The understanding and application of these effects is currently driving much fundamental research by physicists, chemical engineers, material scientists, and chemists into surfaces that display extreme properties, in particular extreme water repellency, or superhydrophobicitv. It is only comparatively recently that detailed mathematical expressions for the interaction between a liquid, solid and gas at these extremes have been developed, making progress that parallels that for the fabrication of these surfaces.
New Zealand Institute of Chemistry
This article has been published in the journal: Chemistry in New Zealand. Used with permission.