Dr. Drelich traveled to India and instructed a new course entitled “Contact Angles: Measurements, Interpretation and Modern Applications“ from January 29 to February 4. The course was offered to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras). Additionally, Dr. Drelich delivered a seminar on surface charge microscopy to faculty and students of IIT Madras.
Course Overview: Surfaces and coatings with controlled wetting characteristics have immense scientific and technological potential. Terms such as superhydrophobicity and superhydrophilicity were introduced to describe exceptionally weak and strong, respectively, interactions of materials and coatings with bulk water, controlled entirely by surface topography and material chemistry. Although manipulation of surface characteristics is nothing new, and was explored by the mineral processing and textile industries several decades ago, a renewed interest in surfaces/coatings of controlled wettability has been driven by an emerging market for products with engineered surfaces. Some common examples include water-repellant, snow- and ice-phobic products and formulations, water anti-fogging screens, windows and lenses, anti-fouling coatings, microfluidic devices, coatings for enhanced boiling heat transfer, foils for food packaging, and many others. The popularity of this sub-discipline of surface chemistry can also be attributed to the simplicity of contact angle measurements, although both measurements and interpretation of contact angles are often obfuscated by wide-spread misconceptions and misunderstandings. In this one-week course, the physics behind wetting phenomena on solid surfaces will be taught in detail, along with a discussion on new developments and modern applications of contact angle and wetting phenomena concepts. Course participants will learn these topics through lectures and case studies.