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Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: Standing in the rain

by Alexandra A. Taylor
January 29, 2021


A photo of a silicon wafer with a coating in the shape of a man with an umbrella.
Credit: Behrooz Khatir and Mohammad Soltaniayan

Umbrellas keep the rain away, but in this case, all is not as it appears. To set this rainy-day scene, Behrooz Khatir and Mohammad Soltaniayan, PhD candidates at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, coated a 15 cm silicon wafer with 1,3-dichlorotetramethyldisiloxane to make it hydrophobic. They covered the background with a mask with the shape of a man holding an umbrella cut out of it. The scientists then treated the remaining area with oxygen plasma to produce a superhydrophilic area. When they exposed the wafer to a stream of water microdroplets, a water film formed on the hydrophilic surface of the man with the umbrella. “Ironically, he is completely wet!” Khatir says. In their research, Khatir and Soltaniayan fabricate surfaces with patterned channels that can passively transport various liquids; such surfaces can be used for anti-icing, liquid repellency, anti-fouling, and other applications.

Submitted by Behrooz Khatir

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