Department of Applied Physics

Soft Matter and Wetting

Spherical water droplets on a superhydrophobic surface partially submerged in water. The surface is gray copper colour, while the submerged part is silvery due to thin airfilm captured by the surface.

FACILITIES: Soft Matter and Wetting group

List of our research equipment and facilities.

Water droplet suspended on a micropillar surface

CODES: Soft Matter and Wetting group

Useful program codes published as part of our works.

Oscillating Droplet Tribometer. The most accurate characterization of your superhydrophobic surface.

Wetting characterization services offered by Soft Matter and Wetting group.

A ferrofluid droplet sitting on a measurement surface in the oscillating droplet tribometer measurement scheme. The magnet underneath the surface is also seen.
Photo of scanning droplet adhesion microscope's measurement probe above a butterfly wing

Droplet Instruments has launched. We offer advanced technologies, service and scientific consulting for your surface characterization needs.

Prof. Robin Ras, the head of Soft Matter and Wetting research group. Photo by Mikko Raskinen
Professor Robin Ras, the head of Soft Matter and Wetting research group. Photo by Mikko Raskinen

Robin Ras, Associate Professor

Research group

Soft Matter and Wetting (SMW) is a multidisciplinary research group consisting of physicists and chemists. We are interested in functional soft materials and the wettability of surfaces. Many of the materials we work on are inspired by nature, such as extremely water-repellent biological surfaces that provide the basis for synthetic superhydrophobicity.

ERC Consolidator grant / ERC Proof-of-Concept grant

The leader of the SMW group, Professor Robin Ras, has received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The topic of this five-year project is "Superslippery Liquid-Repellent Surfaces".


Research highlight

We developed a new concept for durable superhydrophobic surfaces by structuring surfaces at two different length scales. The microstructure is an interconnected surface frame that protects highly water-repellent and mechanically fragile nanostructures. Water repellency of the resulting superhydrophobic surfaces is preserved even after abrasion by sandpaper and by a sharp steel blade. 

Wang D., Sun Q., Hokkanen M.J., Zhang C., Lin F.-Y., Liu Q., Zhu S.-P., Zhou T., Chang Q., He B., Zhou Q., Chen L., Wang Z., Ras R.H.A., Deng X.  
Design of Robust Superhydrophobic Surfaces 
Nature 582, 55–59 (2020) (link) (PDF view only) (press release)

Research group members

Matilda Backholm

Matilda Backholm

Akatemian tutkijatohtori
Robin Ras

Robin Ras

Head of Department
T304 Dept. Applied Physics

Sakari Lepikko

Doctoral candidate
T304 Dept. Applied Physics
Heikki Nurmi

Heikki Nurmi

T304 Dept. Applied Physics

Kai Liu

Academy Postdoctoral Researcher

Ali Afzalifar

Academy Postdoctoral Researcher

Follow Robin Ras and his research group


What's new in Soft Matter and Wetting?

Super hydrophobic surfaces by Juha Juvonen
Press releases Published:

Major breakthrough in extremely water-repellent materials makes them durable enough for the real world

A new armour-plated superhydrophobic material has been developed for potential uses in medical equipment, solar panels and more
Water droplet on a surface
Press releases Published:

Are we at the limits of measuring water-repellent surfaces?

As we develop extremely liquid-repellent surfaces, the errors in existing measurement techniques are getting too large.
Anton Paar Research Award to Robin Ras and Quan Zhou
Honoured Published:

Anton Paar Research Award to Robin Ras and Quan Zhou

Anton Paar Research Award to Robin Ras and Quan Zhou
Research & Art Published:

Dr. Maja Vuckovac receives 2018 Exerowa-Platikanov Award

Dr. Vuckovac was granted the Exerowa-Platikanov Award for best oral presentation at the European Colloid and Interface Society (ECIS) annual conference 2018
Logos of the funding bodies of the SMW group (EU & the European Research Council, Academy of Finland and Business Finland)
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