Research

Trampolining Droplet

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Imagine a droplet sitting on a rigid surface spontaneously bouncing up and then continuing to bounce higher after each impact, as if it were on a trampoline. It sounds impossible, but it’s not. There are two key features to making such a trampolining droplet–one is a superhydrophobic surface covered in an array of tiny micropillars and the other is very low air pressure. The low-pressure, low-humidity air around the droplet causes it to vaporize. Inside the micropillar array, this vapor can get trapped by viscosity instead of draining away. The result is an overpressurization beneath the droplet that, if it overcomes the drop’s adhesion, will cause it to leap upward. For more, check out the original research paper or the coverage at Chemistry World.  (Video credit and submission: T. Schutzius et al.)

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