Surface Acoustic Waves to Control Droplet Impact onto Superhydrophobic and Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces

Mehdi H. Biroun, Luke Haworth, Prashant Agrawal, Bethany V. Orme, Glen McHale, Hamdi Torun, Mohammad Rahmati, Yongqing Fu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Superhydrophobic coatings and slippery liquid infused porous surfaces (SLIPS) have shown their potentials in self-cleaning, anti-icing, anti-erosion, and anti-biofouling applications. Various studies have been done on controlling the droplet impact on such surfaces using passive methods such as modifying the lubricant layer thickness in SLIPS. Despite their effectiveness, passive methods lack on-demand control over the impact dynamics of droplets. This paper introduces a new method to actively control the droplet impact onto superhydrophobic and SLIPS surfaces using surface acoustic waves (SAWs). In this study, we designed and fabricated SLIPS on ZnO/Aluminum thin-film SAW devices and investigated different scenarios of droplet impact on the surfaces compared to those on similar superhydrophobic-coated surfaces. Our results showed that SAWs have insignificant influences on the impact dynamics of a porous and superhydrophobic surface without an infused oil layer. However, after infusion with oil, SAW energy could be effectively transferred to the droplet, thus modifying its impact dynamics onto the superhydrophobic surface. Results showed that by applying SAWs, the spreading and retraction behaviors of the droplets are altered on the SLIPS surface, leading to a change in droplet impact regime from deposition to complete rebound with altered rebounding angles. Moreover, the contact time was reduced up to 30% when applying SAWs on surfaces with an optimum oil lubricant thickness of ~8 µm. Our work offers an effective way of applying SAW technology along with SLIPS to effectively reduce the contact time and alter the droplet rebound angles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46076–46087
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number38
Early online date14 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2021


  • surface acoustic wave
  • superhydrophobic
  • Droplet impact
  • contact time
  • impact regime


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface Acoustic Waves to Control Droplet Impact onto Superhydrophobic and Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this