Porous Polymer Coatings: a Versatile Approach to Superhydrophobic Surfaces

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Abstract

Here, a facile and inexpensive approach to superhydrophobic polymer coatings is presented. The method involves the in situ polymerization of common monomers in the presence of a porogenic solvent to afford superhydrophobic surfaces with the desired combination of micro- and nanoscale roughness. The method is applicable to a variety of substrates and is not limited to small areas or flat surfaces. The polymerized material can be ground into a superhydrophobic powder, which, once applied to a surface, renders it superhydrophobic. The morphology of the porous polymer structure can be efficiently controlled by composition of the polymerization mixture, while surface chemistry can be adjusted by photografting. Morphology control is used to reduce the globule size of the porous architecture from micro down to nanoscale thereby affording a transparent material. The influence of both surface chemistry as well as the length scale of surface roughness on the superhydrophobicity is discussed.

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