One-Step Bottom-Up Growth of Highly Liquid Repellent Worm-Like Surfaces on Planar Substrates

Zhengtao Chen, Tien H. Nguyen, Shayna M. Rumrill, Kenneth K.S. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Highly liquid repellent (superhydrophobic, superoleophobic) surfaces are fabricated using mostly top-down approaches and liquid-based processing. Top-down approaches, like lithography and templating, are highly process-intensive, while liquid-based processing, like etching and fluoropolymer solution coating, rely on solvents that often damage the substrate. Ultimately, to suppress liquids from spreading, the goal is to create a surface with low surface energy and a hierarchically roughened topology. Here, a bottom-up approach that achieves these two prerequisite criteria in one single step is demonstrated. Relying on a liquid-free initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) process, worm-like protrusions of a semicrystalline fluoropolymer (poly(perfluorodecyl acrylate)) directly grow on flat substrates without prior surface pretreatment. The nano/microworm surfaces display super-liquid repellency (>150° contact angle) to water and oil. Worm formation (as opposed to conformal thin film formation) is attributed to preferential crystal nucleation, orientation, and growth on the substrate plane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2101961
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 22 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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