How do Insects-inspired Surfaces Prevent Wetting

How Insects-inspired Surfaces Prevent Wetting?

Internship Description

Inspired by springtails and seaskaters, insects dwelling, respectively, in wet soils and open oceans, we have developed textured surfaces that entrap air when submerged in water (and other liquids).1 Traditionally, to robustly entrap air underwater in microtextures, surfaces are coated with hydrophobic layers, such as perfluorocarbons and hydrocarbons. Our approach can enable any material liquid repellent. We are now investigating the time-dependence of this liquid repellent behavior.
Specifically, we are testing stability of entrapped air under pressure, and also as a function of liquid vapor pressure, capillary condensation, and the dissolution of the trapped gas in the liquids. We are also exploring applications of this approach for water desalination.2


1.       Domingues, et al., Nature Communications (2018) 9, Article Number: 3606

2.       Das, et al., Journal of Membrane Science (2019)


The VSRP intern will work with senior Group members and learn the following skills:
Laboratory experiments: contact angle cells, immersion studies, imaging (optical and confocal), microfabrication and IIID printing
Theory: data analysis, data plotting.
We expect the intern to be driven by curiosity, hard working, and thrive in a multicultural work environment.​​

Faculty Name

Himanshu Mishra

Field of Study

Environmental and Materials Science