Influence of Surface Topography on the Interactions between Nanostructured Hydrophobic Surfaces

Petra M. Hansson, Agne Swerin, Joachim Schoelkopf, Patrick A. C. Gane, Esben Thormann

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Nanostructured particle coated surfaces, with hydrophobized particles arranged in close to hexagonal order and of specific diameters ranging from 30 nm up to 800 nm, were prepared by Langmuir–Blodgett deposition followed by silanization. These surfaces have been used to study interactions between hydrophobic surfaces and a hydrophobic probe using the AFM colloidal probe technique. The different particle coated surfaces exhibit similar water contact angles, independent of particle size, which facilitates studies of how the roughness length scale affects capillary forces (previously often referred to as “hydrophobic interactions”) in aqueous solutions. For surfaces with smaller particles (diameter <200 nm), an increase in roughness length scale is accompanied by a decrease in adhesion force and bubble rupture distance. It is suggested that this is caused by energy barriers that prevent the motion of the three-phase (vapor/liquid/solid) line over the surface features, which counteracts capillary growth. Some of the measured force curves display extremely long-range interaction behavior with rupture distances of several micrometers and capillary growth with an increase in volume during retraction. This is thought to be a consequence of nanobubbles resting on top of the surface features and an influx of air from the crevices between the particles on the surface.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)8026-8034
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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