Probing boundary conditions at hydrophobic solid-water interfaces by dynamic film drainage measurement.

Research paper by Xurui X Zhang, Rogerio R Manica, Yuechao Y Tang, Plamen P Tchoukov, Qingxia Q Liu, Zhenghe Z Xu

Indexed on: 04 Sep '18Published on: 04 Sep '18Published in: Langmuir


A newly developed dynamic force apparatus (DFA) was used to determine hydrodynamic boundary conditions of a liquid on a hydrophobic silica surface. For a given approach velocity of bubble to solid surfaces in an electrolyte solution, a reduced dimple formation and faster film drainage were observed by increasing the hydrophobicity of silica surfaces, indicating a significant change in hydrodynamic boundary conditions of water molecules from an immobile to a mobile water-hydrophobic silica interface. By comparing the measured film profiles with the predictions from the Stokes-Reynolds-Young-Laplace (SRYL) model, the slippage boundary condition of water on the hydrophobic silica surface of nano surface roughness was quantified. Increasing the surface hydrophobicity was found to increase the mobility of water in the thin liquid film, promoting faster drainage of the liquid. For a given hydrophobicity of solids, the mobility of water occurred only above a critical bubble approach velocity and increased with increasing bubble approach velocity. In contrast, similar experiments with hydrophobized mica surfaces showed no-slip boundary condition of water at the molecularly smooth hydrophobic surface. The results collectively suggest that the observed mobility of water with more than 100 nm in thickness on the studied hydrophobic silica surfaces was due to the nanoroughness of hydrophobic surfaces. Such finding sheds light on one possible way of reducing the friction of water on hydrophobic solid surfaces by creating nanostructured surface of nanoroughness.