Infinite lifetime of underwater superhydrophobic states
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.136103
Submerged superhydrophobic (SHPo) surfaces are well known to transition from the dewetted to wetted state over time. Here, a theoretical model is applied to describe the depletion of trapped air in a simple trench and rearranged to prescribe the conditions for infinite lifetime. By fabricating a microscale trench in a transparent hydrophobic material, we directly observe the air depletion process and verify the model. The study leads to the demonstration of infinite lifetime (>50 days) of air pockets on engineered microstructured surfaces under water for the first time. Environmental fluctuations are identified as the main factor behind the lack of a long-term underwater SHPo state to date.