Yongbo Deng, Weihong Zhang, Zhenyu Liu, Jihong Zhu and Jan G. Korvink
This paper presents the topology optimization of hierarchical microtextures for wetting behavior in the Cassie-Baxter mode, considering a structural unit of the hierarchical microtexture composed of base and secondary structures. The geometrical configuration of the considered structural unit can be described as a fiber bundle composed of an external surface of the base structure and the pattern of the secondary structures. Thus, two design variables are defined, one for the external surface of the base structure, and the other for the pattern of the secondary structures. The Young-Laplace equation, including a term depending on the mean curvature of the external surface, is used to describe the liquid/vapor interface imposed with a surface tension in the Cassie-Baxter mode. To overcome the difficulty of numerically computing the second-order derivative of the external surface, two partial differential equation filters are sequentially applied to the design variable of the base structure to ensure the numerical accuracy and feasibility of using an efficient linear-element-based finite element method to solve the Young-Laplace equation. To improve the performance of the hierarchical microtextures, the volume of the liquid bulges suspended at the liquid/vapor interface in the Cassie-Baxter mode, before the transition into the Wenzel mode, is minimized to optimize the match between the external surface of the base structure and the pattern of the secondary structures. In the topology optimization process, penalization of the material density of the surface tension is achieved by an artificial Marangoni phenomenon. In numerical examples, solid surfaces are tiled into textures with axial symmetry, radial symmetry, chirality, and quasiperiodicity; and structural units are derived consisting of base structures with peak shapes and dense secondary structures surrounding the crests of the peaks. The optimized performance of the derived structural units has been confirmed by comparisons.