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UVO-Tunable Superhydrophobic to Superhydrophilic Wetting Transition on Biomimetic Nanostructured Surfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 2007-02-27, 00:00 authored by Joong Tark Han, Sangcheol Kim, Alamgir Karim
A novel strategy for a tunable sigmoidal wetting transition from superhydrophobicity to superhydrophilicity on a continuous nanostructured hybrid film via gradient UV-ozone (UVO) exposure is presented. Along a single wetting gradient surface (40 mm), we could visualize the superhydrophobic (θH2O > 165° and low contact angle hysteresis) transition (165 ° > θH2O > 10 °) and superhydrophilic (θH2O < 10° within 1 s) regions simply through the optical images of water droplets on the surface. The film is prepared through layer-by-layer assembly of negatively charged silica nanoparticles (11 nm) and positively charged poly(allylamine hydrochloride) with an initial deposition in a fractal manner. The extraordinary wetting transition on chemically modified nanoparticle layered surfaces with submicrometer- to micrometer-scale pores represents a competition between the chemical wettability and hierarchical roughness of surfaces as often occurs in nature (e.g., lotus leaves, insect wings, etc).