Fractal structure can explain the increased hydrophobicity of nanoporous silicon films

F. Gentile*, E. Battista, A. Accardo, M. L. Coluccio, M. Asande, G. Perozziello, G. Das, C. Liberale, F. De Angelis, P. Candeloro, P. Decuzzi, E. Di Fabrizio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Nano porous silicon (NPSi) films were fabricated via a process of Si anodic dissolution. An apparent contact angle as large as 140°was measured. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used for deriving the surface roughness profile and imaging the topography of the porous layer. A power spectrum was conveniently derived and used to deconvolute the fractal dimension of the surface as D f ∼ 2.8, thus strictly larger than the topological or Euclidean dimension D = 2. Due to its fractal nature, the NPSi surface would be self affine, thus containing details at arbitrarily small scales. The apparent contact angle was accordingly derived in terms of a recursive function wherewith hydrophobicity increases with the scale factor n. The right size of the problem (that is, the degree to which one should enlarge the system to gain sufficient insight of the problem) would strictly depend upon the fractal dimension and thus on an accurate measurement of the profile of the NPSi surface. The values derived for the apparent contact angle according to the procedure above are in good agreement with the observations, thus demonstrating that the model here proposed is both consistent and predictive in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2537-2540
Number of pages4
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Fractal surfaces
  • Nanoporous silicon
  • Superhydrophobic surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Fractal structure can explain the increased hydrophobicity of nanoporous silicon films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this