Controlling how “odd couple” surfaces and liquids interact
Jan 17, 2022

Congratulations to Kyle L. Wilke, Zhengmao Lu, and Youngsup Song for their recent work on turning traditionally nonwetting surfaces wetting for even ultra-high surface energy liquids which was featured on MIT News. This work presents a surface-engineering approach that turns all liquids highly wetting, including ultra-high surface tension fluids such as mercury. Previously, highly wetting behavior was only possible for intrinsically wetting liquid/material combinations through surface roughening to enable the so-called Wenzel and hemiwicking states, in which liquid fills the surface structures and causes a droplet to exhibit a low contact angle when contacting the surface. Our work enables highly wetting behavior for previously inaccessible material/liquid combinations and thus expands the design space for various thermofluidic applications.

Read more on MIT News and read the paper here.