Public defence in Engineering Physics, M.Sc. (Tech) Heikki Nurmi

Developing measurement methods and applications for extremely water repellent surfaces

Title of the doctoral thesis: Superhydrophobic metrology and applications

Opponent: Professor Dimos Poulikakos, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Custos: Professor Robin Ras, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Applied Physics

The public defence will be organised on campus.

The doctoral thesis is publicly displayed 10 days before the defence in the publication archive Aaltodoc of Aalto University

Electronic thesis

Public defence announcement

The doctoral thesis ”Superhydrophobic metrology and applications” explores how extremely water repellent surfaces can be measured accurately and showcases some applications for extremely water repellent surfaces. Water cannot adhere to extremely water repellent or “superhydrophobic” surfaces, which produces multitude of useful properties such as self-cleaning, lower of flow resistance, anti-icing and anti-corrosion.

The properties of superhydrophobic surfaces are hard to measure using common optical methods such as contact angle goniometry. This thesis explores measurement techniques, which can accurately measure superhydrophobic surfaces and find even the minutest of differences in the properties. These methods are based on measuring the forces between a liquid droplet and the surface. These forces can be measured with much higher accuracy compared to the contact angle measurements using the optical methods. These accurate measurements are crucial for R&D activities, which expedites the utilization of superhydrophobic surfaces, as the different properties of surfaces can be compared. If the superhydrophobic surfaces can be utilized in widescale, they can for example reduce the environmental load, as surfaces need to be cleaned or deiced less frequently, and reduce the energy use, as the flow resistance is lower in pipes or in ships. This flow resistance reduction was showcased in the thesis with a superhydrophobic lubrication method, which achieved similar lubrication capability as current lubrication methods.

Contact details of the doctoral student: [email protected]

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