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Unique and universal dew-repellency of nanocones

Abstract : Surface structuring provides a broad range of water-repellent materials known for their ability to reflect millimetre-sized raindrops. Dispelling water at the considerably reduced scale of fog or dew, however, constitutes a significant challenge, owing to the comparable size of droplets and structures. Nonetheless, a surface comprising nanocones was recently reported to exhibit strong anti-fogging behaviour, unlike pillars of the same size. To elucidate the origin of these differences, we systematically compare families of nanotexture that transition from pillars to sharp cones. Through environmental electron microscopy and modelling, we show that microdroplets condensing on sharp cones adopt a highly non-adhesive state, even at radii as low as 1.5 µm, contrasting with the behaviour on pillars where pinning results in impedance of droplet ejection. We establish the antifogging abilities to be universal over the range of our cone geometries, which speaks to the unique character of the nanocone geometry to repel dew. Truncated cones are finally shown to provide both pinning and a high degree of hydrophobicity, opposing characteristics that lead to a different, yet efficient, mechanism of dew ejection that relies on multiple coalescences.
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https://hal.sorbonne-universite.fr/hal-03290228
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Submitted on : Monday, July 19, 2021 - 11:34:23 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 4:01:48 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 6:24:32 PM

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Pierre Lecointre, Sophia Laney, Martyna Michalska, Tao Li, Alexandre Tanguy, et al.. Unique and universal dew-repellency of nanocones. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 12 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41467-021-23708-6⟩. ⟨hal-03290228⟩

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