Superhydrophobic - Lotus Leaf Effect

Stop right there! What is that long, irritating, sciencey, word?

Well that's what I thought. But, there is more to this word. If I really make you guys understand what this word means, I can make it from boring and long to fascinating and cool.

Let's start from the 1600s. I'm just kidding. Let's start with a little magic!


When water - the sweetest thing when you just ran a marathon - falls on a lotus leaf it does not get wet! See, I told you it was magic!

In addition to that, as the water rolls of the surface of the green leaf it picks up tiny particles such as dust ,thus, cleaning the surface. This is called the lotus leaf effect.

B-but..what is superhydrophobic?

Well, superhydrophobic (I have no clue why scientists

give such complicated names to things. They could have just made this "No Wet Surface".) is a word to describe these particular surfaces in nature, for example lotus leaves. It's that simple!

Okay. But, why is it this way?

The lotus leaf's surface is not actually smooth, but rather rough!

This is a lot of

magic in my head!

This emerald leaf is covered with papilla (I like to call it

spikes. But what to's called papilla 😕) and a coat of wax.

Papillas are about 10-20 microns in height and 10-15 microns in width.

Now for another curious mind question; How do we measure the hydrophobocity (In simpler terms, it means, "how do we know if this has a lotus leaf effect") (SO COMPLICATED)?

The hydrophobocity is measured by its contact angle. The hydrophobocity of a surface increases when the contact angle increases. Get out your brilliant math minds and let's do this thing!

1. If the contact angle is less than 90°, then the surface can be easily wet (Another word - Hydrophilic) .

2. If the contact angle is between 90° (90 < x) and 150°, it is hydrophobic

3. Finally, if the contact angle is more than 150°, then it is superhyrdophobic.

That's it!

Image Credits -

Children's Post