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  1. Abstract The synthesis of nanostructured surfaces via block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly enables a precise control of the surface feature shape within a range of dimensions of the order of tens of nanometers. This work studies how to exploit this ability to control the wetting hysteresis and liquid adhesion forces as the substrate undergoes chemical aging and changes in its intrinsic wettability. Via BCP self-assembly we fabricate nanostructured surfaces on silicon substrates with a hexagonal array of regular conical pillars having a fixed period (52 nm) and two different heights (60 and 200 nm), which results in substantially different lateral and top surface areas of the nanostructure. The wetting hysteresis of the fabricated surfaces is characterized using force–displacement measurements under quasistaic conditions and over sufficiently long periods of time for which the substrate chemistry and surface energy, characterized by the Young contact angle, varies significantly. The experimental results and theoretical analysis indicate that controlling the lateral and top area of the nanostructure not only controls the degree of wetting hysteresis but can also make the advancing and receding contact angles less susceptible to chemical aging. These results can help rationalize the design of nanostructured surfaces for different applications such as self-cleaning,more »enhanced heat transfer, and drag reduction in micro/nanofluidic devices.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023