, Volume 48, Issue 19, pp 6613-6618
Date: 29 May 2013

Fabrication of semi-transparent superoleophobic thin film by nanoparticle-based nano–microstructures on see-through fabrics

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Abstract

Superoleophobic thin films have many potential applications including fluid transfer, fluid power systems, stain-resistant and antifouling materials, and microfluidics. Transparency is also desired with superhydrophobicity for numerous applications; however, transparency and oleophobicity are almost incompatible with each other from the point of view of surface structure. Oleophobicity requires a rougher structure on the nano–microscale than hydrophobicity, and this rough structure brings light scattering. So far, there are few reports of compatible transparency and superoleophobicity. In this report, we propose see-through-type fabrics having nanoparticle-based hierarchical structure thin films to improve both oleophobicity and transparency. The vacant space between the fibers of the fabric has two important roles: to allow light to pass through and to induce an air layer to produce a Cassie state of a liquid droplet on the resulting thin film. To realize a low surface energy and nanoscale rough structured surface on fabric fibers, we used a spray method with perfluoroalkyl methacrylic copolymer, silica nanoparticles, and volatile solvent. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed that hierarchical nanoparticle structures were uniformly formed on the fabrics. The transparency of the obtained thin film was approximately 61 %, and the change of transparency between the non-coated and coated fabrics was 11 %. The contact angles of oil (rapeseed oil and hexadecane) and water droplets on the fabricated film were observed to be over 150° during investigation of its surface wettability.