Plastron properties of a superhydrophobic surface

Neil Shirtcliffe, Glen McHale, Michael Newton, Carole Perry, F. Brian Pyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Most insects and spiders drown when submerged during flooding or tidal inundation, but some are able to survive and others can remain submerged indefinitely without harm. Many achieve this by natural adaptations to their surface morphology to trap films of air, creating plastrons which fix the water-vapor interface and provide an incompressible oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange surface. Here the authors demonstrate how the surface of an extremely water-repellent foam mimics this mechanism of underwater respiration and allows direct extraction of oxygen from aerated water. The biomimetic principle demonstrated can be applied to a wide variety of man-made superhydrophobic materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104106-104108
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2006


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