Engineering of superhydrophobic silica microparticles and thin coatings on polymeric films by ultrasound irradiation

T. Iline-Vul, S. Bretler, S. Cohen, I. Perelshtein, N. Perkas, A. Gedanken, S. Margel

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16 Scopus citations


Superhydrophobic coatings are one of the recent hot topics in industrial applications as well as academic studies. The mimicking lotus leaves' superhydrophobic properties have been successfully transferred to real-life applications. However, the current preparation methods used to obtain superhydrophobic coatings are still complex, commonly are not transparent and/or not durable. In the present study, a new relatively simple way to prepare superhydrophobic coatings on polymeric films is described. First, superhydrophobic silica microparticles (MPs) were synthesized by fluorination of SiO2 MPs produced by a modified Stöber method. Briefly, tetraethyl orthosilicate was polymerized in an ethanol/water continuous phase under basic conditions, and the resultant SiO2 MPs were dispersed in heptane as a continuous phase and reacted with 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorododecyltrichlorosilane (FTS) to yield FTS-SiO2 MPs, which were dried and dispersed in decane. Superhydrophobic thin coatings were then produced by a ‘throwing stones’ sonication technique and deposited onto polycarbonate, polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyurethane films. The coatings are durable, may be transparent, and exhibit self-cleaning properties for the specific practical applications. The MPs and coated polymeric films were characterized by dynamic light scattering, high-resolution scanning electron microscopy, water contact and sliding angle measurements, and infrared and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. This ultrasound-assisted coating process may be upscaled and applied to many polymeric films, for instance polymethyl methacrylate, polystyrene, and polyvinyl chloride. Various applications are envisaged, including but not limited to self-cleaning windows, anti-sticking of snow to antennas and windows, solar panels, roof tiles, agricultural applications, corrosion resistance, and anti-biofouling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100520
JournalMaterials Today Chemistry
StatePublished - Aug 2021

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  • Polymeric substrates
  • SiO microparticles
  • Sonication technique
  • Superhydrophobic coating
  • Surface modification


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