Review Article

Nature-inspired superwettability systems

  • Nature Reviews Materials 2, Article number: 17036 (2017)
  • doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.36
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Abstract

Superwettability is a centuries-old concept that has been rediscovered in past decades, largely owing to new understanding of the mechanisms of special wetting phenomena in nature. Combining multiscale structures and surface chemical compositions is crucial to fabricate interfacial materials with superwettability. In this Review, we detail the historical development and summarize the various combined superwetting states in superwettability systems. Nature-inspired design principles of superwettable materials are also briefly introduced. Superwettability systems can be extended from 2D surfaces to 0D nanoparticles, 1D fibres and channels, and 3D integrated materials. We discuss new phenomena and the advantages that superwettability-based systems have for chemical reactions and materials fabrication, including emerging applications that utilize single extreme wetting states or that combine two extreme wetting states. Finally, we provide our perspective for future research directions.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21421061, 21425314, 21434009 and 21574004), the National Research Fund for Fundamental Key Projects (2012CB933800), the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJZD-EW-M03), the 111 project (B14009), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, the National Young Thousand Talents Program, and the Top-Notch Young Talents Program of China.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Key Laboratory of Bio-Inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, P. R. China.

    • Mingjie Liu
    •  & Lei Jiang
  2. International Research Institute for Multidisciplinary Science, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, P. R. China.

    • Mingjie Liu
  3. CAS Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Materials and Interfacial Science, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China.

    • Shutao Wang
    •  & Lei Jiang

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lei Jiang.