Switchable water absorption of paper via liquid flame spray nanoparticle coating
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Surface wetting/anti-wetting and liquid absorption are relevant properties of many porous solids including paper and other cellulose-based materials. Here we demonstrate how surface wetting by water and water absorption of commercially available kraft paper can be altered by thin nanoparticle coatings fabricated by liquid flame spray in facile and continuous one-step process. Surface wettability and absorption properties of paper increased with silica and decreased with titania (TiO2) nanoparticle coatings. Moreover, the water-repellent (superhydrophobic) TiO2 nanoparticle coated paper could be switched to superhydrophilic and water absorbing by ultraviolet illumination. The experiments revealed that although surface wetting and liquid absorption of nanoparticle coated paper are strongly related to each other, they are two distinct phenomena which do not necessarily correlate. We propose wetting regimes on the nanoparticle coated paper samples on the basis of the experimental observations.
KeywordsWetting Water absorption Superhydrophobic Cellulose TiO2 Photoswitching
Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) is acknowledged for the financial support of this study. The work was carried out in the Functional Materials 2007–2013 programme under the project called Liquid flame spray nanocoating for flexible roll-to-roll web materials. The authors also thank Beneq, Stora Enso, and UPM-Kymmene for their contributions. The authors are grateful to Mr. Alvi Sivula (TUT, Department of Materials Science) for fabricating the suitable Cobb equipment, and to Dr. Mari Honkanen (TUT, Department of Materials Science) for the SEM images.
Online Resource 1 Immersion of uncoated paper and superhydrophobic TiO2 nanoparticle coated paper in methylene blue colored water (MP4 4151 kb)
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