Generation of Surfaces with Isotropic and Anisotropic Wetting Properties by Curved Water Jet-Guided Laser Micromachining

Yi Shi, Jian Cao, Kornel F. Ehmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This experimental work utilizes a newly developed method, curved water jet-guided laser micromachining, to generate microfeatures on metallic surfaces. During the process, material is removed by a high-power nanosecond laser beam, which is transmitted through a high-pressure microwater jet via total internal reflection. To achieve intricate texturing patterns, a secondary motion component is superimposed on the XY motion of the workpiece provided by the motion stage. The secondary motion is generated by deflecting the water jet trajectory by a controllable dielectrophoretic force. The induced secondary motion of the water jet cuts the processing time to one half when generating texture patterns for isotropic wetting as compared to processes with only XY motion. The ability to alter the water jet's trajectory by tens of microns at high frequencies, which is beyond the capability of conventional CNC machines, allows a wide range of different micropatterns to be generated, profoundly increasing the flexibility and efficiency of the process as compared to conventional approaches. As a demonstration, surface textures for isotropic and anisotropic behaviors are generated on stainless steel surfaces. The influence of feature spacing, motion speed (frequency), and texturing patterns on surface wettability is studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041101
JournalJournal of Micro and Nano-Manufacturing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • dielectrophoresis
  • surface texturing
  • water jet-guided laser processing
  • wetting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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