Fabrication of superhydrophobic cellulose-based materials through a solution-immersion process.

Research paper by Shenghai S Li, Suobo S Zhang, Xianhong X Wang

Indexed on: 23 Apr '08Published on: 23 Apr '08Published in: Langmuir


An industrial waterproof reagent [(potassium methyl siliconate) (PMS)] was used for fabricating a superhydrophobic surface on a cellulose-based material (cotton fabric or paper) through a solution-immersion method. This method involves a hydrogen bond assembly and a polycondensation process. The silanol, which was formed by a reaction of PMS aqueous solution with CO 2, was assembled on the cellulose molecule surface via hydrogen bond interactions. The polymethylsilsesquioxane coatings were prepared by a polycondensation reaction of the hydroxyl between cellulose and silanol. The superhydrophobic cellulose materials were characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, thermogravimetry, and surface analysis (XPS, FESEM, AFM, and contact angle measurements). Analytical characterization revealed that nanoscale roughness protuberances uniformly covered the surface, thus transforming the cellulose from superhydrophilic to superhydrophobic with a water contact angle of 157 degrees . The superhydrophobic coatings were satisfactory with regard to both chemical and mechanical durability, and because of the transparency of the coatings the native cotton fabric displayed no changes with regard to either morphology or color. The easy availability of the materials and simplicity of this method render it convenient for mass production.