Manipulated wettability of a superhydrophobic quartz crystal microbalance through electrowetting

Esmeryan, KD, McHale, G, Trabi, CL, Geraldi, NR and Newton, MI ORCID: 0000-0003-4231-1002, 2013. Manipulated wettability of a superhydrophobic quartz crystal microbalance through electrowetting. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 46 (34). ISSN 0022-3727


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The liquid phase response of quartz crystal microbalances (QCMs) with a thin coating (~9 µm) of epoxy resin with and without a carbon nanoparticles top layer is reported. The nanoparticles convert the epoxy surface to a superhydrophobic one with a high static contact angle (~151°–155°) and low contact angle hysteresis (~1°–3.7°) where droplets of water are in the suspended Cassie–Baxter state. The frequency decrease of the fully immersed QCM with the superhydrophobic surface is less than with only epoxy layer, thus indicating a decoupling of the QCM response. A wettability transition to a liquid penetrating into the surface roughness state (for droplets a high contact angle hysteresis Wenzel state) was triggered using a molarity-of-ethanol droplet test (MED) and electrowetting; the MED approach caused some surface damage. The electrowetting-induced transition caused a frequency decrease of 739 Hz at a critical voltage of ~100 V compared to the QCM in air. This critical voltage correlates to a contact angle decrease of 26° and a high contact angle hysteresis state in droplet experiments. These experiments provide a proof-of-concept that QCMs can be used to sense wetting state transitions and not only mass attachments or changes in viscosity–density products of liquids.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Creators: Esmeryan, K.D., McHale, G., Trabi, C.L., Geraldi, N.R. and Newton, M.I.
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
Place of Publication: Bristol
Date: 2013
Volume: 46
Number: 34
ISSN: 0022-3727
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:53
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:13

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