Abstract

Biological creatures with unique surface wettability have long served as a source of inspiration for scientists and engineers. More specifically, certain beetle species in the Namib Desert have evolved to collect water from fog on their backs by way of wettability patterns, which attracted an ongoing interest in biomimetic studies. Bioinspired materials exhibiting extreme wetting properties, such as superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic surfaces, have attracted considerable attention because of their potential use in various applications. Combining these two extreme states of superhydrophilicity and superhydrophobicity on the same surface in precise two-dimensional micropatterns opens exciting new functionalities and possibilities for a wide variety of applications. In this review we briefly describe the water-harvesting mechanisms of a genus of Namib Desert beetle, Stenocarpa, consisting of the theory of wetting and transporting. Then we describe the methods for fabricating superhydrophilic-superhydrophobic patterns and highlight some of the newer and emerging applications of these patterned substrates that are currently being explored. Finally, we provide conclusions and outlook concerning the future development of bioinspired surfaces of patterned wettability.

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