Our work on liquid-surface interactions just got published in Communications Physics. Great work by Daniel and the team at IMRE! Congratulations to all!
You can read the paper here. Comments welcome.
Recently, there has been much progress in the design and application of oil-repellent superoleophobic surfaces. Polyzwitterionic brush surfaces are of particular interest, because of their ability to repel oil under water, even in the absence of micro-/nanostructures. The origin of this underwater superoleophobicity is attributed to the presence of a stable water film beneath the oil droplet, but this had not been demonstrated experimentally. Here, using optical interferometric techniques, we show that an oil droplet effectively hydroplanes over a water film, whose thickness is between one hundred and hundreds of nanometres. In addition, using a custom-built droplet force apparatus, we find the friction and adhesion forces to be in the nN range for millimetric-sized droplets. These forces are much lower than for other classes of well-known liquid-repellent surfaces, including the lotus-leaf effect and lubricant-infused surfaces, where the typical force is on the order of μN.