The effect of the aspect ratio on the hydrophobicity of microstructured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) robust surfaces
In this study, we have designed and fabricated robust hydrophobic surfaces that are composed of various micropillar arrays and investigated the effect of the aspect ratio (feature height/feature size) of the micropillar on the wettability of the fabricated surfaces. The robust, micropillar-arrayed surfaces were designed to yield the same Wenzel and Cassie water contact angles (CAs). According to our design rule, one can achieve an enhanced hydrophobic surface by increasing the height of the micropillars. The designed hydrophobic surfaces were fabricated by polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) replica molding with photolithographically micropatterned SU-8 masters. The hydrophobicity properties of the fabricated PDMS surfaces were fully characterized theoretically and experimentally. From the theoretical and experimental results, it was found that the micropillars of an intrinsically hydrophobic material with a high aspect ratio enhance the hydrophobicity of the surface by increasing the surface roughness (in view of the Wenzel state) and the opportunities for the entrapment of air beneath a water droplet (the Cassie state).