Environmentally-safe and transparent superhydrophobic coatings
journal contributionposted on 03.06.2016 by Constantine M. Megaridis, D.E. Waldroup, D. Calewarts, J. Qin, S. Guggenheim, A. Vera, R. Ibrahim, J.E. Mates
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
The bioinspired field of superhydrophobicity has almost universally deployed environmentally-detrimental approaches relying on organic solvents and fluorinated compounds to generate liquid-repellent surfaces, thus severely limiting application at industrial scales. Recent water-borne methods have reduced the use of volatile organic compounds, but these methods often rely on either fluorinated chemistries (to lower surface energy) or charge-stabilization (to suspend roughness-enhancing particle fillers). An entirely water-based and fluorine-free superhydrophobic formulation has been developed from hydrophilic titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles and polyolefin copolymers, without additional surfactants or charge-stabilization. The commercially-available ingredients are combined in a single-step, substrate-independent, wet-process application to deliver an ultra-simple, semitransparent coating which is attractive for large-area, fluid-barrier surface treatments. The coating constituents are environmentally-safe and FDA-approved, overcoming a nontrivial hurdle in the scalable development of sustainable fluid management technologies