Lotus-effect-based superhydrophobicity is one of the most celebrated applications of biomimetics in materials science. Due to a combination of controlled surface roughness (surface patterns) and low-surface energy coatings, superhydrophobic surfaces repel water and, to some extent, other liquids. However, many applications require surfaces which are water-repellent but provide high friction. An example would be highway or runway pavements, which should support high wheel–pavement traction. Despite a common perception that making a surface non-wet also makes it slippery, the correlation between non-wetting and low friction is not always direct. This is because friction and wetting involve many mechanisms and because adhesion cannot be characterized by a single factor. We review relevant adhesion mechanisms and parameters (the interfacial energy, contact angle, contact angle hysteresis, and specific fracture energy) and discuss the complex interrelation between friction and wetting, which is crucial for the design of biomimetic functional surfaces.
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