Droplet depinning on superhydrophobic surfaces is pervasive in nature and critical to many applications and hence has been studied extensively over the past few decades. A consensus has been reached that the droplet depinning force mainly stems from the synergistic dynamics of the three-phase contact line and the liquid–vapor interface. Nevertheless, the aforementioned conclusions were made using simple (pure water) droplets depinning on rigid superhydrophobic surfaces, denoted as simple rigid wetting, where the main influencing factors are liquid–vapor interfacial tension, surface texture geometry and material wettability. In recent years, an increasing amount of attention has been paid to complex soft wetting, where liquid physiochemical properties (e.g. viscoelasticity) and solid surface rigidity play an important role. To encourage the investigation of complex soft wetting, in this perspective, depinning of simple droplets on soft surfaces and depinning of viscoelastic droplets on rigid surfaces are briefly introduced. Then, possible factors that affect viscoelastic droplet depinning on soft superhydrophobic surfaces are discussed. Moreover, applications that are highly relevant to complex soft wetting are introduced.
- soft surface