Structural considerations for superhydrophobic and superoleophobic surfaces
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Highly fluid repellent have application in many industries ranging from marine to biomedical due to their self-cleaning antifouling properties. The development and implementation of these superhydrophobic (water contact angle >150 degrees ) and superoleophobic (oil contact angle > 150 degrees ) surfaces were studied in this thesis. We focused our studies on paper as a substrate for these superhydrophobic and superoleophobic surfaces. Cellulose based paper is a biodegradable, inexpensive material that is ideal for disposable use applications. Applying an oxygen plasma etching technique combined with the deposition of a fluoropolymer from a pentafluoroethane precursor, superhydrophobic paper can be attained. This superhydrophobic paper is functionalized by printing wax islands onto the surface, thereby creating areas of high fluid adhesion. These wax functionalized sheets are used to sample droplets from bulk droplets, with the sampled volume being controlled by the hysteresis of the wax island. Disposable biomedical devices can be envisioned from these wax designs. While these superhydrophobic surface excel at repelling water, they continue to readily absorb water. Formation of paper that is both superhydrophobic and superoleophobic, or superamphiphobic, is accomplished through a combination of steps: mechanical fiber refining, solvent exchange processing and plasma treatment. The fiber refining creates nano-scale fibrils that are separated in the solvent processing. Subsequent plasma treatment of oxygen etching and fluoropolymer deposition creates superamphiphobic paper, exhibiting contact angles of > 150 degrees for water, ethylene glycol, motor oil and n-hexadecane. Further studies were conducted to increase the strength of these superamphiphobic sheets by using layered paper. Development of superhydrophobic paper from a hydrophilic diamond-like carbon surface coating was also demonstrated. When combined with oxygen plasma etching, diamond-like carbon coated paper sheets attain superhydrophobic properties similar to fluoropolymer coated sheets. Based on the knowledge gained from the studies on paper, superhydrophobic surfaces are created on 304 and 316 stainless steels. Samples are etched in hydrofluoric acid and then passivated in nitric acid to create the necessary surface structure. Deposition of fluoropolymer onto the etched samples yields superhydrophobic properties.