An analysis of hydrophobic fabric using electron microscopy

Sanjay Lakshmanan, Mechanical Engineering, University of Rochester

Figure 1.1 Microstructures observed on the surface of a lotus leaf (SEM images)

Lotus leaves possess excellent hydrophobic properties which enable contact angles of >150°. The presence of micro- and nano-structures on the surface of the leaf in the form of papillae with varying height and tip radius accounts results in low adhesive forces and hence increased hydrophobicity.

Fabric that can mimic the hydrophobicity observed in lotus leaves has been sought after for a long time. The analysis of a hydrophobic t-shirt made, completely out of cotton, using electron microscope (scanning electron microscope) in conjunction with AFM (atomic force microscope) gives an understanding of the topography of the fabric.

·  Sputter Coating

·  Secondary Electron Imaging (SEM)

·  X-ray Spectometry (EDS)

·  Electron Flight Simulation (EFS)

·  Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

·  Light Microscopy

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