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Under-water superoleophobicity of fish scales
Waghmare, P.R.; Gunda, N.S.K.; Mitra, S. (2014). Under-water superoleophobicity of fish scales. NPG Scientific Reports 4(7454): 5 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Waghmare, P.R.
  • Gunda, N.S.K.
  • Mitra, S.

    Recent surge in the development of superhydrophobic/superoleophobic surfaces has been motivated by surfaces like fish scales that have hierarchical structures, which are believed to promote water or oil repellency. In this work, we show that the under-water oil repellency of fish scales is entirely due to the mucus layer formation as part of its defense mechanism, which produces unprecedented contact angle close to 180°. We have identified the distinct chemical signatures that are responsible for such large contact angle, thereby making fish scale behave highly superoleophobic inside the water medium. In absence of the mucus layer, it is found that the contact angle decreases quite dramatically to around 150°, making it less oleophobic, the degree of such oleophobicity can then be contributed to its inherent hierarchical structures. Hence, through this systematic study, for the first time we have conclusively shown the role of the fish's mucus layer to generate superoleophobicity and negate the common notion that hierarchical structure is the only reason for such intrinsic behavior of the fish scales.

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