Priority Program SPP 2171 – “Dynamic Wetting of Flexible, Adaptive and Switchable Surfaces”
What happens if a droplet moves over solid that is so soft that it gets deformed by the capillary action of the droplet? And what if the solid would also responds to the contacting liquid by changing its surface properties? How would that change the dynamics of wetting or dewetting i.e., the rate at which the drop moves? And wouldn’t it be useful if, by some trick, we could change the surface “on demand” to be water-repellent or not? Nature plays these tricks every day, as in the water-repellent plumage of a kingfisher, or the slippery surface of carnivore plants on which not even insects can grab a hold. Such and similar questions are addressed in the newly established SPP 2171, to which Stefan Karpitschka is serving as a member of the coordination board, and his group is participating in this joint research effort.