Local wettability tuning with laser ablation redeposits on PDMS

S. Pelt, van, A.J.H. Frijns, R. Mandamparambil, J.M.J. Toonder, den

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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In this paper, we present a method to locally control the wettability behavior of PDMS surfaces by excimer laser ablation. In the ablation process, a micrometer scale roughness is formed in the irradiated regions while a nanometer scale roughness is formed by the redeposits surrounding the irradiated regions. The increase in surface roughness results in a change of the wettability behavior of the PDMS surface. By using a hexagonal pattern and tuning the patterning pitch, two dierent wetting behaviors were realized. A pitch smaller than 300 µm resulted in a superhydrophobic surface with an advancing contact angle of ¿_adv=165 and a receding contact angle of ¿_rec=160. A pitch between 300-500 µm resulted in a sticky superhydrophobic surface with ¿_adv=120-150 and ¿_rec=80. The contact angle hysteresis for the latter was larger than for untreated PDMS resulting in very sticky surfaces with high sliding angles. This gives the method great versatility since the two wetting behaviors are very dierent. By combining both behaviors, local surface features like pinning sites, non-wetting sites, barriers and guides can all be fabricated by a single method. As an application demonstrator of the method, we show that drops can be caught and released depending on size and tilting angle by creating slippery surfaces with sticky barriers. Additionally, the method is ideal for rapid prototyping as it consist of only a single step. It is a direct write method requiring no lithographic mask. Also the process works in ambient atmosphere, so it can be used for temperature or pressure sensitive applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-464
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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