Wetting Characteristics of Insect Wing Surfaces
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Biological tiny structures have been observed on many kinds of surfaces such as lotus leaves, which have an effect on the coloration of Morpho butterflies and enhance the hydrophobicity of natural surfaces. We investigated the micro-scale and nano-scale structures on the wing surfaces of insects and found that the hierarchical multiple roughness structures help in enhancing the hydrophobicity. After examining 10 orders and 24 species of flying Pterygotan insects, we found that micro-scale and nano-scale structures typically exist on both the upper and lower wing surfaces of flying insects. The tiny structures such as denticle or setae on the insect wings enhance the hydrophobicity, thereby enabling the wings to be cleaned more easily. And the hydrophobic insect wings undergo a transition from Cassie to Wenzel states at pitch/size ratio of about 20. In order to examine the wetting characteristics on a rough surface, a biomimetic surface with micro-scale pillars is fabricated on a silicon wafer, which exhibits the same behavior as the insect wing, with the Cassie-Wenzel transition occurring consistently around a pitch/width value of 20.
Keywordsinsect wing superhydrophobicity mimicry hierarchical structure micro- and nano-scale structures Cassie-Wenzel transition
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