Synthetic fabrics coated with zinc oxide nanoparticles by electroless deposition: Structural characterization and wetting properties


Correspondence to: L. Frunza (E-mail:


Electroless deposition was successfully applied in developing crystalline particles of zinc oxide onto polyester textile materials; this deposition is here presented in comparison with other materials made from poly(lactic acid), polyamide or hemp. Structural and spectroscopic characterization of the raw and deposited samples has been performed. The structure of zinc oxide particles was that of wurtzite type as indicated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Crystallites were 20–500 nm in diameter and up to 1 µm in length. The grown particles cover the fibers not only on the fabric surface but in the textile depth. Contact angle measurement by the sessile drop method was used to study the wettability behavior of the investigated composite systems. The hierarchical roughness structure generates superhydrophobic properties onto polyester fabrics, for which water contact angles exceed 150°. The other functionalized samples also become more hydrophobic after deposition. Cassie-Baxter model was found suitable to describe the behavior, though the fraction of surface occupied by the water–solid interface is high enough. The electroless deposition technique applied previously for cotton fabrics was once more proven to be highly reproducible, easy scalable, and cheap, allowing a wide range of applications. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2013, 51, 1427–1437