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Ultra Water Repellent Polypropylene Surfaces with Tunable Water Adhesion

Zhu, Tang, Cai, Chao, Guo, Jing, Wang, Rong, Zhao, Ning, Xu, Jian
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017 v.9 no.11 pp. 10224-10232
adhesion, coatings, contact angle, crystallization, droplets, hydrophobicity, mechanical properties, microstructure, plastics, polypropylenes, transportation
Polypropylene (PP), including isotactic PP (i-PP) and atactic PP (a-PP) with distinct tacticity, is one of the most widely used general plastics. Herein, ultra water repellent PP coatings with tunable adhesion to water were prepared via a simple casting method. The pure i-PP coating shows a hierarchical morphology with micro/nanobinary structures, exhibiting a water contact angle (CA) larger than 150° and a sliding angle less than 5° (for 5 μL water droplet). In contrast, the pure a-PP coating has a less rough morphology with a water contact angle of about 130°, and the water droplets stick on the coating at any tilted angles. For the composite i-PP/a-PP coatings, however, ultra water repellency with CA > 150° but water adhesion tailorable from slippery to sticky can be realized, depending on the contents of a-PP and i-PP. The different wetting behaviors are due to the various microstructures of the composite coatings resulting from the distinct crystallization ability of a-PP and i-PP. Furthermore, the existence of a-PP in the composite coatings enhances the mechanical properties compared to the i-PP coating. The proposed method is feasible to modify various substrates and potential applications in no-loss liquid transportation, slippery surfaces, and patterned superhydrophobic surfaces are demonstrated.