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Superhydrophobic surface

The superhydrophobic surface is a term used to describe a surface whereof the material is capable of creating a self-cleaning surface. Surface energy alone can hardly achieve enough hydrophobicity to create a self-cleaning surface where liquid droplets roll off from the surface as the result of extreme hydrophobicity. An extremely hydrophobic surface, where the water contact angle exceeds 150 ° is often called a superhydrophobic surface. Droplets on the superhydrophobic surface easily roll off by a slight tilting of the surface, typically less than 10 °

Lotus Effect

This is commonly known as the Lotus effect, named after Lotus plants whose leaves have high water repellency that makes water droplets just roll off their surface, taking dirt along with them and always maintaining a clean appearance. This is caused by a combination of the hydrophobic surface character and micro-structural roughness. Engineering a superhydrophobic surface involves modifying both surface composition and geometry.

One way to use these phenomena to create superhydrophobic fabric surfaces is micro/nanoparticulate coating. Nano and microparticles are mixed with a hydrophobic polymer and applied to the substrate to create micro-roughness on the fibre surface textile fabrics. See also Nanometere, Lotus effect and surface design

Various methods for the preparation of rough surfaces:

  • Layer by layer and self-assembly
  • Sol-gel processing
  • Etching
  • Electrospinning method
  • Electrochemical deposition
  • Chemical vapour deposition

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