Season 2 – Episode 8 Superhydrophobicity – the powerful property behind the lotus leaf effect and self-cleaning surfaces

What makes a liquid droplet just roll off the surface of a lotus-leaf?  And what does it take for us to mimic this extraordinary design by nature and to make self-cleaning surfaces?

In this episode of Season 2 of Science on surfaces we talk to Susanna Lauren at Biolin Scientific about superhydrophobic surfaces. Susanna did her Ph.D. on superhydrophobic surfaces and microfluidics and she is an expert on surface related phenomena, such as surface tension, wettability, adhesion and surface free energy.

 We start the conversation with Susanna describing how superhydrophobicity is defined and what properties that need to be fulfilled for a surface to qualify as superhydrophobic. She then explains how such surfaces can be manufactured and lists the many areas where these surfaces would be beneficial. We also talk about why, in spite the very useful qualities of hydrophobicity, there still are so few commercial products available in the market, and what the future holds for man-made mimics of this amazing design by nature. 

Thanks for listening! If you are interested in surface science and related topics, you should also check out our blog -  the Surface Science blog.