Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

First Advisor

Gary Tepper

Second Advisor

Karla Mossi

Third Advisor

Umit Ozgur


Superhydrophobicity refers to surfaces with extremely large water droplet contact angles (usually greater than 150°). This phenomenon requires a hydrophobic material with micro or nano-scale roughness. Superhydrophobic surfaces exist in nature (e.g. the lotus leaf) and can be produced synthetically. This project focuses on the development and characterization of superhydrophobic materials with tunable wettability (i.e. smart superhydrophobic materials). In this study, surfaces were prepared by electrospinning thin, aligned polystyrene fibers onto a piezoelectric unimorph substrate. Results showed electric field induced changes in substrate curvature, which produced corresponding changes in surface wettability. From experiments, an average change in water contact angle of 7.2° ± 1.2° with 90% confidence was observed in ~2μm diameter fiber coatings electrospun for 5 minutes with applied electric field. In addition, fiber coatings electrospun with equivalent deposition showed average electric field induced changes in WCA of 2.5° ± 0.92° for lower diameter fibers (~1μm) and 3.5° ± 1.37° for higher diameter fibers (~2μm) with 90% confidence.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

October 2013

Included in

Engineering Commons