Strong Hydrophobic Coating by Conducting a New Hierarchical Architecture

While the hydrophobicity for a self-cleaning surface is feasibly obtained via rational designs of nanostructured materials,1‑2 the longevity of coatings due to the rapid function loss and weak interface bonding and the scalability due to the limited size are not on a solid footing.3 In this article, we report the synthesis of flexible self-cleaning coating with improved mechanical and chemical stability on the basis of a new hierarchical architecture, which comprises functionalized epoxy (EP) resins and industrially available activated carbons. In parallel, a self-cleaning coating with high transparency can be obtained by replacing with oxide particles, which further expands the application fields. The strong bonding force from alkene CH3–C–CH3 and phenyl groups in bisphenol A diglycidyl ether contributes to high rigidity, high toughness, and high-temperature tolerance while the ether linkages lead to high chemical resistance.4 A greatly enhanced adhesion to substrates originates from the preferable interface ring-opening reaction of highly reactive ethylene oxide C2H4O on EP and amine groups on curing agents. Superhydrophobicity is ascribed to the interaction among hydrophobic groups on “grafted” heptadecafluorodecyl acrylate and functionalized particles. The impressive hydrophobic and mechanical properties open an avenue for a reliable self-cleaning coating in commercial products.