Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Interfacial materials with special wettability

  • Tak-Sing Wong (a1), Taolei Sun (a2), Lin Feng (a3) and Joanna Aizenberg (a4)

Various life forms in nature display a high level of adaptability to their environments through the use of sophisticated material interfaces. This is exemplified by numerous biological systems, such as the self-cleaning of lotus leaves, the water-walking abilities of water striders and spiders, the ultra-slipperiness of pitcher plants, the directional liquid adhesion of butterfly wings, and the water collection capabilities of beetles, spider webs, and cacti. The versatile interactions of these natural surfaces with fluids, or special wettability, are enabled by their unique micro/nanoscale surface structures and intrinsic material properties. Many of these biological designs and principles have inspired new classes of functional interfacial materials, which have remarkable potential to solve some of the engineering challenges for industrial and biomedical applications. In this article, we provide a snapshot of the state of the art of biologically inspired materials with special wettability, and discuss some promising future directions for the field.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Interfacial materials with special wettability
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Interfacial materials with special wettability
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Interfacial materials with special wettability
      Available formats
Hide All Gennes P.G., Rev. Mod. Phys. 57, 827 (1985). Gennes P.G., Brochard-Wyart F., Quere D., Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena : Drops, Bubbles, Pearls, Waves (Springer, New York, 2004).
3.Pomeau Y., Villermaux E., Phys. Today 59, 39 (2006).
4.Quéré D., Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 38, 71 (2008).
5.Wagner T., Neinhuis C., Barthlott W., Acta Zool. 77, 213 (1996).
6.Barthlott W., Neinhuis C., Planta 202, 1 (1997).
7.Neinhuis C., Barthlott W., Ann. Bot. 79, 667 (1997).
8.Parker A.R., Lawrence C.R., Nature 414, 33 (2001).
9.Feng L., Li S., Li Y., Li H., Zhang L., Zhai J., Song Y., Liu B., Jiang L., Zhu D., Adv. Mater. 14, 1857 (2002).
10.Bohn H.F., Federle W., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 101, 14138 (2004).
11.Gao X.F., Jiang L., Nature 432, 36 (2004).
12.Lee W., Jin M.-K., Yoo W.-C., Lee J.-K., Langmuir 20, 7665 (2004).
13.Sun T.L., Feng L., Gao X.F., Jiang L., Acc. Chem. Res. 38, 644 (2005).
14.Hansen W.R., Autumn K., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102, 385 (2005).
15.Hu D.L., Bush J.W.M., Nature 437, 733 (2005).
16.Gao X., Yan X., Yao X., Xu L., Zhang K., Zhang J., Yang B., Jiang L., Adv. Mater. 19, 2213 (2007).
17.Zheng Y., Gao X., Jiang L., Soft Matter 3, 178 (2007).
18.Feng L., Zhang Y., Xi J., Zhu Y., Wang N., Xia F., Jiang L., Langmuir 24, 4114 (2008).
19.Liu M.J., Wang S.T., Wei Z.X., Song Y.L., Jiang L., Adv. Mater. 21, 665 (2009).
20.Zheng Y., Bai H., Huang Z., Tian X., Nie F.-Q., Zhao Y., Zhai J., Jiang L., Nature 463, 640 (2010).
21.Helbig R., Nickerl J., Neinhuis C., Werner C., PloS One 6, (2011).
22.Mlot N.J., Tovey C.A., Hu D.L., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 108, 7669 (2011).
23.Duprat C., Protiere S., Beebe A.Y., Stone H.A., Nature 482, 510 (2012).
24.Ju J., Zheng Y., Zhao T., Fang R., Jiang L., Nat. Commun. 3, 1247 (2012).
25.Forterre Y., Skotheim J.M., Dumais J., Mahadevan L., Nature 433, 421 (2005).
26.Lepora N.F., Verschure P., Prescott T.J., Bioinspir. Biomim. 8, (2013).
27.Genzer J., Marmur A., MRS Bull. 33, 742 (2008).
28.Bhushan B., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. A 367, 1445 (2009).
29.Young T., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London 95, 65 (1805).
30.Wenzel R.N., Ind. Eng. Chem. 28, 988 (1936).
31.Cassie A.B.D., Baxter S., Trans. Faraday Soc. 40, 0546 (1944).
32.Cassie A.B.D., Discuss. Faraday Soc. 3, 11 (1948).
33.Cassie A.B.D., Baxter S., Nature 155, 21 (1945).
34.Oner D., McCarthy T.J., Langmuir 16, 7777 (2000).
35.Extrand C.W., Langmuir 20, 5013 (2004).
36.Dorrer C., Ruhe J., Langmuir 22, 7652 (2006).
37.Wong T.S., Ho C.M., Langmuir 25, 12851 (2009).
38.Bormashenko E., J. Colloid Interface Sci. 360, 317 (2011).
39.Dettre R.H., Johnson R.E., J. Phys. Chem. 69, 1507 (1965).
40.Furmidge C.G., J. Colloid Sci. 17, 309 (1962).
41.Chen W., Fadeev A.Y., Hsieh M.C., Öner D., Youngblood J., McCarthy T.J., Langmuir 15, 3395 (1999).
42.Gibbs J.W., The Scientific Papers of J. Willard Gibbs (Dover Publications, New York, 1961).
43.Oliver J.F., Huh C., Mason S.G., J. Colloid Interface Sci. 59, 568 (1977).
44.Ondarcuhu T., Piednoir A., Nano Lett. 5, 1744 (2005).
45.Wong T.S., Huang A.P.H., Ho C.M., Langmuir 25, 6599 (2009).
46.Quere D., Rep. Prog. Phys. 68, 2495 (2005).
47.Li X.M., Reinhoudt D., Crego-Calama M., Chem. Soc. Rev. 36, 135 (2007).
48.Roach P., Shirtcliffe N.J., Newton M.I., Soft Matter 4, 224 (2008).
49.Dorrer C., Ruhe J., Soft Matter 5, 51 (2009).
50.Tuteja A., Choi W., Ma M., Mabry J.M., Mazzella S.A., Rutledge G.C., McKinley G.H., Cohen R.E., Science 318, 1618 (2007).
51.Ahuja A., Taylor J.A., Lifton V., Sidorenko A.A., Salamon T.R., Lobaton E.J., Kolodner R., Krupenkin T.N., Langmuir 24, 9 (2008).
52.Tuteja A., Choi W., Mabry J.M., McKinley G.H., Cohen R.E., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105, 18200 (2008).
53.Deng X., Mammen L., Butt H.J., Vollmer D., Science 335, 67 (2012).
54.Pan S., Kota A.K., Mabry J.M., Tuteja A., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 578 (2013).
55.Hu D.L., Chan B., Bush J.W.M., Nature 424, 663 (2003).
56.Chu K.H., Xiao R., Wang E.N., Nat. Mater. 9, 413 (2010).
57.Malvadkar N.A., Hancock M.J., Sekeroglu K., Dressick W.J., Demirel M.C., Nat. Mater. 9, 1023 (2010).
58.Hancock M.J., Sekeroglu K., Demirel M.C., Adv. Funct. Mater. 22, 2223 (2012).
59.Chen C.H., Cai Q., Tsai C., Chen C.-L., Xiong G., Yu Y., Ren Z., Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 173108 (2007).
60.Boreyko J.B., Chen C.H., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 184501 (2009).
61.Enright R., Miljkovic N., Al-Obeidi A., Thompson C.V., Wang E.N., Langmuir 28, 14424 (2012).
62.Miljkovic N., Enright R., Wang E.N., ACS Nano 6, 1776 (2012).
63.Miljkovic N., Enright R., Nam Y., Lopez K., Dou N., Sack J., Wang E.N., Nano Lett. 13, 179 (2013).
64.Cao L.L., Jones A.K., Sikka V.K., Wu J.Z., Gao D., Langmuir 25, 12444 (2009).
65.Kulinich S.A., Farzaneh M., Appl. Surf. Sci. 255, 8153 (2009).
66.Meuler A.J., Smith J.D., Varanasi K.K., Mabry J.M., McKinley G.H., Cohen R.E., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2, 3100 (2010).
67.Mishchenko L., Hatton B., Bahadur V., Taylor J.A., Krupenkin T., Aizenberg J., ACS Nano 4, 7699 (2010).
68.Varanasi K.K., Deng T., Smith J.D., Hsu M., Bhate N., Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 234102 (2010).
69.He M., Wang J., Li H., Jin X., Wang J., Liu B., Song Y., Soft Matter 6, 2396 (2010).
70.Kulinich S.A., Farhadi S., Nose K., Du X.W., Langmuir 27, 25 (2011).
71.Bahadur V., Mishchenko L., Hatton B., Taylor J.A., Aizenberg J., Krupenkin T., Langmuir 27, 14143 (2011).
72.Erbil H.Y., Demirel A.L., Avci Y., Mert O., Science 299, 1377 (2003).
73.Azimi G., Dhiman R., Kwon H.-M., Paxson A.T., Varanasi K.K., Nat. Mater. 12, 315 (2013).
74.Sun T., Wang G., Feng L., Liu B., Ma Y., Jiang L., Zhu D., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 43, 357 (2004).
75.Sidorenko A., Krupenkin T., Taylor A., Fratzl P., Aizenberg J., Science 315, 487 (2007).
76.Sidorenko A., Krupenkin T., Aizenberg J., J. Mater. Chem. 18, 3841 (2008).
77.Grigoryev A., Tokarey T., Kornev K.G., Luzinov I., Minko S., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 12916 (2012).
78.Li Y., Li L., Sun J.Q., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 49, 6129 (2010).
79.Wang H., Xue Y., Ding J., Feng L., Wang X., Lin T., Angew. Chem. 50, 11433 (2011).
80.Wang X.L., Liu X.J., Zhou F., Liu W.M., Chem. Commun. 47, 2324 (2011).
81.Lee C., Kim C.J., Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 014502 (2011).
82.Poetes R., Holtzmann K., Franze K., Steiner U., Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 166104 (2010).
83.Wong T.S., Kang S.H., Tang S.K.Y., Smythe E.J., Hatton B.D., Grinthal A., Aizenberg J., Nature 477, 443 (2011).
84.Lafuma A., Quere D., Europhys. Lett. 96, 56001 (2011).
85.Anand S., Paxson A.T., Dhiman R., Smith J.D., Varanasi K.K., ACS Nano 6, 10122 (2012).
86.Smith J.D., Dhiman R., Anand S., Reza-Garduno E., Cohen R.E., McKinley G.H., Varanasi K.K., Soft Matter 9, 1772 (2013).
87.Epstein A.K., Wong T.S., Belisle R.A., Boggs E.M., Aizenberg J., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 13182 (2012).
88.Kim P., Wong T.S., Alvarenga J., Kreder M.J., Adorno-Martinez W.E., Aizenberg J., ACS Nano 6, 6569 (2012).
89.Stone H.A., ACS Nano 6, 6536 (2012).
90.Yao X., Hu Y., Grinthal A., Wong T.S., Mahadevan L., Aizenberg J., Nat. Mater., doi: 10.1038/NMAT3598 (2013).
91.Kim P., Kreder M.J., Alvarenga J., Aizenberg J., Nano Lett. 13, 1793 (2013).
92.Nosonovsky M., Nature 477, 412 (2011).
93.Ensikat H.J., Ditsche-Kuru P., Neinhuis C., Barthlott W., Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2, 152 (2011).
94.Verho T., Korhonen J.T., Sainiemi L., Jokinen V., Bower C., Franze K., Franssila S., Andrew P., Ikkala O., Ras R.H.A., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 10210 (2012).
95.Marmur A., Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 39, 473 (2009).
96.Nosonovsky M., Bhushan B., Curr. Opin. Colloid Interface Sci. 14, 270 (2009).
97.Bormashenko E., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. A 368, 4695 (2010).
98.Nguyen T.P.N., Brunet P., Coffinier Y., Boukherroub R., Langmuir 26, 18369 (2010).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

MRS Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0883-7694
  • EISSN: 1938-1425
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 39
Total number of PDF views: 241 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 506 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.