Superhydrophobic Polymer Composite Surfaces Developed via Photopolymerization

ACS Appl Polym Mater. 2021 Sep 10;3(9):4661-4672. doi: 10.1021/acsapm.1c00744. Epub 2021 Aug 19.

ABSTRACT

Fabrication of superhydrophobic materials using incumbent techniques involves several processing steps and is therefore either quite complex, not scalable, or often both. Here, the development of superhydrophobic surface-patterned polymer-TiO2 composite materials using a simple, single-step photopolymerization-based approach is reported. The synergistic combination of concurrent, periodic bump-like pattern formation created using irradiation through a photomask and photopolymerization-induced nanoparticle (NP) phase separation enables the development of surface textures with dual-scale roughness (micrometer-sized bumps and NPs) that demonstrate high water contact angles, low roll-off angles, and desirable postprocessability such as flexibility, peel-and-stick capability, and self-cleaning capability. The effect of nanoparticle concentration on surface porosity and consequently nonwetting properties is discussed. Large-area fabrication over an area of 20 cm2, which is important for practical applications, is also demonstrated. This work demonstrates the capability of polymerizable systems to aid in the organization of functional polymer-nanoparticle surface structures.

PMID:34541544 | PMC:PMC8438665 | DOI:10.1021/acsapm.1c00744

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