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Experimental determination of the efficiency of nanostructuring on non-wetting legs of the water strider

Authors
Journal
Acta Biomaterialia
1742-7061
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
6
Issue
10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2010.04.016
Keywords
  • Water Strider
  • Insect
  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Micro/Nanostructures
  • Anti-Wetting
Disciplines
  • Chemistry

Abstract

Abstract Water striders demonstrate an amazing talent which enables them to effectively “row” across water surfaces without immobilization. This ability has previously been ascribed to the wax-like chemistry of the small hairs (setae) found on the legs, and theoretically attributed to the nano/microscaled hierarchical architecture of individual seta using the Cassie–Baxter equations. Here we show experimentally the strength of the contribution of the seta surface architecture to superhydrophobicity by maintaining identical surface chemistry (thin and thick coating of the setae with polydimethylsiloxane). Atomic force microscopy-based force and adhesion measurements of single uncoated and coated seta interacting with water quantitatively demonstrate the efficiency of the topographical component of the setae for repelling water.

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