Inspired by penguins, the formation of an air film on surfaces underwater has been well-researched for the potential reduction of drag. However, the features that contribute to drag reduction of penguins are not only the formation of an air layer but also the flow of bubbles along the air layer; basic investigation of the wetting dynamics of a bubble scattered in an underwater environment has been overlooked. The focus of our research was microbubble contact on superhydrophobic/superhydrophilic surfaces underwater. Unlike the adhesion of mist in air, a “coalescence delay” is observed when bubbles make contact, which influences the deposition dynamics of an air film. The “coalescence delay” is proportional to the size of the bubbles. This study is helpful to understand air/solid/water systems as well as the drag reduction.

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