Effect of surface morphology on wettability conversion

Research paper by Xia Kong, Yawei Hu, Xiaofang Wang, Wei Pan

Indexed on: 30 Aug '16Published on: 30 Aug '16Published in: Journal of Advanced Ceramics


A hierarchical structural surface of TiO2 film with reversibly light-switchable wettability between superhydrophobicity and superhydrophilicity on metal substrate was fabricated through simply dip-coating method from TiO2 precursor solution containing TiO2 nanoparticles with the average diameter 25 nm (P25), followed by heat-treatment and modification with fluoroalkylsilane (FAS) molecules. The morphology, phase and crystallographic structure, and chemical composite of the as-prepared TiO2 film were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The wettability of TiO2 film was characterized by a drop shape analyzer. The water contact angle of superhydrophobic TiO2 film was up to 165.6°. Under UV irradiation, the water contact angle decreased and the superhydrophobic TiO2 film became superhydrophilic because of hydroxyl groups absorption on the TiO2 surface. Meanwhile, the surface morphology of TiO2 film, which resulted from the TiO2 nanoparticles added in TiO2 precursor solution, had a significant effect on the wettability conversion of TiO2 film and enhanced the switch from hydrophobicity to hydrophilicity. The wettability could be reversibly switched between superhydrophobicity and superhydrophilicity via alternation of UV exposure and dark storage.