Lotus Effect: Surfaces with Roughness-Induced Superhydrophobicity, Self-Cleaning, and Low Adhesion


Superhydrophobic surfaces exhibit extreme water-repellent properties. These surfaces with high contact angle and low contact angle hysteresis also exhibit a self-cleaning effect and low drag for fluid flow. These surfaces are of interest in various applications, including self-cleaning windows, exterior paints for buildings, navigation ships, textiles, solar panels, and applications requiring antifouling and a reduction in fluid flow, e.g., in micro/nanochannels. Superhydrophobic surfaces can also be used for energy conservation and energy conversion, such as in the development of a microscale capillary engine. Superhydrophobic surfaces prevent the formation of menisci at a contacting interface and can be used to minimize adhesion and stiction. Certain plant leaves, notably lotus leaves, are known to be superhydrophobic and self-cleaning due to hierarchical roughness and the presence of wax tubules on the leaf surface. This phenomenon is known as the lotus effect. Superhydrophobic and self-cleaning surfaces can be produced by using roughness combined with hydrophobic coatings. In this chapter, the theory of roughness-induced superhydrophobicity and self-cleaning is presented, followed by the characterization data of natural leaf surfaces. Micro-, nano-, and hierarchical patterned structures have been fabricated, and the wetting properties and adhesion have been characterized to validate models and provide design guidelines for superhydrophobic and self-cleaning surfaces. In addition, a model of contact angle for oleophilic/phobic surfaces is presented. The wetting behavior of fabricated surfaces is investigated. Fundamental physical mechanisms of wetting responsible for the transition between various wetting regimes, contact angle, and contact angle hysteresis are also discussed.



atomic force microscope


atomic force microscopy


alkylketene dimer


brucite-type cobalt hydroxide


contact angle hysteresis


chemical bath deposition


charge-coupled device


carbon nanotube


chemical vapor deposition




digital instrument


environmental scanning electron microscope


formaldehyde–acetic acid–ethanol


gaseous secondary-electron detector


high aspect ratio


indium tin oxide


lauric acid


low aspect ratio




microelectromechanical system


multiwall carbon nanotube


nanoscale dispensing


nanoelectromechanical system






poly(acrylic acid)


porous anodic alumina


poly(allylamine hydrochloride)






plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition






poly(methyl methacrylate)










polyurethane acrylate


physical vapor deposition


relative humidity


root mean square


scanning acoustic microscopy


self-assembled monolayer


scanning electron microscope


scanning electron microscopy








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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanoprobe Laboratory for Bio- and Nanotechnology and Biomimetics (NLB2)Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Senior Engineer Process Development TeamSamsung Electronics C., Ltd.Gyeonggi-DoKorea
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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