Self-erasing patterns allow a substrate to be patterned multiple times or could store temporary information for secret communications, and are mostly based on photochromic molecules to change the color of the pattern. Herein we demonstrate self-erasing patterns of wettability on thin ZnO films made by atomic layer deposition. Hydrophilic patterns are written using UV light and decay spontaneously, i.e. become hydrophobic, or are erased aided by vacuum conditions or heat. We demonstrate that these patterns can be applied for channels to confine flow of water without physical walls.
- photoinduced wetting