Natural superhydrophobicity


Superhydrophobic and superoleophobic surfaces are most often created using fluorinated compounds. Such compounds, however, cannot occur naturally. Thus studying natural surfaces of plants or animals with superhydrophobic or superoleophobic properties can show new ways to create such properties without fluorinated compounds.

In this review article, the authors give a broad overview of plants and animals with superhydrophobic and even superoleophobic properties. Even superhydrophobic surfaces with gradient wettability are shown which can be used, e.g., for water harvesting. The microscopic and SEM images of different structures which are used in nature to achieve the desired properties in combination with the respective chemistry can deal as a source of inspiration – mimicking nature can be used as a starting point to develop novel superhydrophobic and superoleophobic coatings without the necessity of fluorinated compounds.

T. Darmanin and F. Guittard
Superhydrophobic and superoleophobic properties in nature
Materials Today 18, 273-285 (2015)