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Wetting on silicone surfaces

Hauer, Lukas; Naga, Abhinav; Badr, Rodrique G. M.; Pham, Jonathan T.; Wong, William S. Y.; Vollmer, Doris

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Lukas Hauer

Rodrique G. M. Badr

Jonathan T. Pham

William S. Y. Wong

Doris Vollmer


Silicone is frequently used as a model system to investigate and tune wetting on soft materials. Silicone is biocompatible and shows excellent thermal, chemical, and UV stability. Moreover, the mechanical properties of the surface can be easily varied by several orders of magnitude in a controlled manner. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a popular choice for coating applications such as lubrication, self-cleaning, and drag reduction, facilitated by low surface energy. Aiming to understand the underlying interactions and forces, motivated numerous and detailed investigations of the static and dynamic wetting behavior of drops on PDMS-based surfaces. Here, we recognize the three most prevalent PDMS surface variants, namely liquid-infused (SLIPS/LIS), elastomeric, and liquid-like (SOCAL) surfaces. To understand, optimize, and tune the wetting properties of these PDMS surfaces, we review and compare their similarities and differences by discussing (i) the chemical and molecular structure, and (ii) the static and dynamic wetting behavior. We also provide (iii) an overview of methods and techniques to characterize PDMS-based surfaces and their wetting behavior. The static and dynamic wetting ridge is given particular attention, as it dominates energy dissipation, adhesion, and friction of sliding drops and influences the durability of the surfaces. We also discuss special features such as cloaking and wetting-induced phase separation. Key challenges and opportunities of these three surface variants are outlined.


Hauer, L., Naga, A., Badr, R. G. M., Pham, J. T., Wong, W. S. Y., & Vollmer, D. (2024). Wetting on silicone surfaces. Soft Matter,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 21, 2024
Online Publication Date Jul 2, 2024
Publication Date Jul 2, 2024
Deposit Date Jul 10, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 10, 2024
Journal Soft Matter
Print ISSN 1744-683X
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


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