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Utilizing Dynamic Tensiometry to Quantify Contact Angle Hysteresis and Wetting State Transitions on Nonwetting Surfaces

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States
§ Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, California 93524, United States
Cite this: Langmuir 2013, 29, 44, 13396–13406
Publication Date (Web):September 26, 2013
https://doi.org/10.1021/la4022678
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Goniometric techniques traditionally quantify two parameters, the advancing and receding contact angles, that are useful for characterizing the wetting properties of a solid surface; however, dynamic tensiometry, which measures changes in the net force on a surface during the repeated immersion and emersion of a solid into a probe liquid, can provide further insight into the wetting properties of a surface. We detail a framework for analyzing tensiometric results that allows for the determination of wetting hysteresis, wetting state transitions, and characteristic topographical length scales on textured, nonwetting surfaces, in addition to the more traditional measurement of apparent advancing and receding contact angles. Fluorodecyl POSS, a low-surface-energy material, was blended with commercially available poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and then dip- or spray-coated onto glass substrates. These surfaces were probed with a variety of liquids to illustrate the effects of probe liquid surface tension, solid surface chemistry, and surface texture on the apparent contact angles and wetting hysteresis of nonwetting surfaces. Woven meshes were then used as model structured substrates to add a second, larger length scale for the surface texture. When immersed into a probe liquid, these spray-coated mesh surfaces can form a metastable, solid–liquid–air interface on the largest length scale of surface texture. The increasing hydrostatic pressure associated with progressively greater immersion depths disrupts this metastable, composite interface and forces penetration of the probe liquid into the mesh structure. This transition is marked by a sudden change in the wetting hysteresis, which can be systematically probed using spray-coated, woven meshes of varying wire radius and spacing. We also show that dynamic tensiometry can accurately and quantitatively characterize topographical length scales that are present on microtextured surfaces.

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    Derivation of the instantaneous contact angle during the formation of a nonwetting meniscus and the Fourier transform power spectra of the linearly detrended force traces for one of the meshes investigated in this work. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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