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Fabrication of stable Ni–Al4Ni3–Al2O3 superhydrophobic surface on aluminum substrate for self-cleaning, anti-corrosive and catalytic performance

Li, Jingyan, Lu, Shixiang, Xu, Wenguo, He, Ge, Yu, Tianlong, Cheng, Yuanyuan, Wu, Bei
Journal of materials science 2018 v.53 no.2 pp. 1097-1109
chemical composition, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, annealing, aqueous solutions, sodium hydroxide, corrosion, ambient temperature, catalysts, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, electrochemistry, p-nitrophenol, scanning electron microscopy, aluminum, hydrophobicity, hydrogen, alloys, catalytic activity, industrial applications
A stable Ni–Al₄Ni₃–Al₂O₃ superhydrophobic surface (SHS) was fabricated on aluminum (Al) substrate via etching, subsequent replacement deposition and then annealing. The water contact angle of the SHS could reach to 155°, and the water sliding angle was less than 2°. The morphology and chemical composition of the samples were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction pattern, energy-dispersive spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Anti-corrosion behaviors of the samples were investigated via Tafel extrapolation and electrochemical impedance, and the SHS showed a better corrosion resistance than that of pure Al. In addition, when the water drops impinged on the SHS, the drops could fully bounce, exhibiting exquisite self-cleaning property. The catalytic property of the samples was evaluated by the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) at room temperature, in which the SHS served as the hydrogen generator as well as a catalyst. The degradation rate of 4-NP at the existence of the superhydrophobic samples in NaOH aqueous solution was 97%. And the reaction rate constant of 4-NP at the existence of the superhydrophobic samples was 9.51 × 10⁻² s⁻¹, which was about twice as large as that at the existence of pure Al. This work offers an effective strategy to fabricate SHSs and expands industrial applications for Al and its alloys.