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Superhydrophobic Hybrid Inorganic-Organic Thiol-ene Surfaces Fabricated via Spray-Deposition and Photopolymerization

Derek L. Patton, Bradley J. Sparks, Ethan F.T. Hoff, Li Xiong, James T. Goetz


We report a simple and versatile method for the fabrication of superhydrophobic inorganic-organic thiol-ene coatings via sequential spray-deposition and photopolymerization under ambient conditions. The coatings are obtained by spray-deposition of UV-curable hybrid inorganic-organic thiol-ene resins consisting of pentaerythritol tetra(3-mercaptopropionate) (PETMP), triallyl isocyanurate (TTT), 2,4,6,8-tetramethyl-2,4,6,8-tetravinylcyclotetrasiloxane (TMTVSi), and hydrophobic fumed silica nanoparticles. The spray-deposition process and nanoparticle agglomeration/dispersion provide surfaces with hierarchical morphologies exhibiting both micro- and nanoscale roughness. The wetting behavior—dependent on the concentration of TMTVSi and hydrophobic silica nanoparticles—can be varied over a broad range to ultimately provide coatings with high static water contact angles (> 150°), low contact angle hysteresis, and low roll off angles (< 5°). The crosslinked thiol-ene coatings are solvent resistant, stable at low and high pH, and maintain superhydrophobic wetting behavior after extended exposure to elevated temperatures. We demonstrate the versatility of the spray- deposition and UV-cure process on a variety of substrate surfaces including glass, paper, stone, and cotton fabric.

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