Electrowetting control of Cassie-to-Wenzel transitions in superhydrophobic carbon nanotube-based nanocomposites

Zhaojun Han, Bengkang Tay, Cherming Tan, Maziar Shakerzadeh, Kostya Ostrikov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

114 Scopus citations


The possibility of effective control of the wetting properties of a nanostructured surface consisting of arrays of amorphous carbon nanoparticles capped on carbon nanotubes using the electrowetting technique is demonstrated. By analyzing the electrowetting curves with an equivalent circuit model of the solid/liquid interface, the long-standing problem of control and monitoring of the transition between the "slippy" Cassie state and the "sticky" Wenzel states is resolved. The unique structural properties of the custom-designed nanocomposites with precisely tailored surface energy without using any commonly utilized low-surface-energy (e.g., polymer) conformal coatings enable easy identification of the occurrence of such transition from the optical contrast on the nanostructured surfaces. This approach to precise control of the wetting mode transitions is generic and has an outstanding potential to enable the stable superhydrophobic capability of nanostructured surfaces for numerous applications, such as low-friction microfluidics and self-cleaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3031-3036
Number of pages6
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - 27 10 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Cassie-to-Wenzel transition
  • Electrowetting
  • Nanocomposites
  • Superhydrophobic


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