Correlation of nanoscale behaviour of forces and macroscale surface wettability

Abhimanyu Rana, Abhijeet Patra, Meenakshi Annamalai, Amar Srivastava, Siddhartha Ghosh, Kelsey Stoerzinger, Yueh Lin Lee, Saurav Prakash, Reuben Yeo Jueyuan, Partho S. Goohpattader, Nalam Satyanarayana, Kalon Gopinadhan, Michal M. Dykas, Kingshuk Poddar, Surajit Saha, Tarapada Sarkar, Brijesh Kumar, Charanjit S. Bhatia, Livia Giordano, Shao Horn YangT. Venkatesan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this manuscript, we demonstrate a method based on atomic force microscopy which enables local probing of surface wettability. The maximum pull-off force, obtained from force spectroscopy shows a remarkable correlation with the macroscopically observed water contact angle, measured over a wide variety of surfaces starting from hydrophilic, all the way through to hydrophobic ones. This relationship, consequently, facilitates the establishment of a universal behaviour. The adhesion forces scale with the polar component of surface energy. However, no such relation could be established with the dispersive component. Hence, we postulate that the force(s) which enable us to correlate the force spectroscopy data measured on the nanoscale to the macroscopic contact angle are primarily arising from electrostatic-dipole-dipole interactions at the solid-liquid interface. London forces play less of a role. This effect in is line with density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggesting a higher degree of hydroxylation of hydrophilic surfaces. This result shows that molecular simulations and measurements on an atomic scale can be extrapolated to macroscopic surface wetting problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15597-15603
Number of pages7
Issue number34
StatePublished - Sep 14 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Abhimanyu Rana, Abhijeet Patra and Meenakshi Annamalai contributed equally to this work. The manuscript was written through contributions of all authors. All authors have given approval to the final version of the manuscript. This research used resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. Abhimanyu Rana would like to acknowledge discussion with Prof. S. B. Ogale. M. Annamalai would like to acknowledge support from NUSNNI core fund. T. Venkatesan would like to acknowledge the funding support from NRF CRP (NRF-CRP8-2011-06).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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