Smart surfaces with tunable wettability have aroused much attention in the past few years. However, to obtain a surface that can reversibly transit between the lotus-leaf-like superhydrophobic isotropic and rice-leaf-like superhydrophobic anisotropic wettings is still a challenge. This paper, by mimicking microstructures on both lotus and rice leaves, reports such a surface that is prepared by creating micro/nanostructured arrays on the shape memory polymer. On the surface, the microstructure shapes can be reversibly changed between the lotus-leaf-like random state and the rice-leaf-like 1D ordered state. Accordingly, repeated switch between the superhydrophobic isotropic and anisotropic wettings can be displayed. Research results indicate that the smart controllability is ascribed to the excellent shape memory effect of the polymer, which endows the surface with special ability in memorizing different microstructure shapes and wetting properties. Meanwhile, based on the smart wetting performances, the surface is further used as a rewritable functional platform, on which various droplet transportation programmes are designed and demonstrated. This work reports a superhydrophobic surface with switchable isotropic/anisotropic wettings, which not only provides a novel functional material but also opens a new avenue for application in controlled droplet transportation.
Available for download on Saturday, December 15, 2018