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Robust Biomimetic-Structural Superhydrophobic Surface on Aluminum Alloy

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journal contribution
posted on 28.01.2015, 00:00 by Lingjie Li, Tao Huang, Jinglei Lei, Jianxin He, Linfeng Qu, Peiling Huang, Wei Zhou, Nianbing Li, Fusheng Pan
The following facile approach has been developed to prepare a biomimetic-structural superhydrophobic surface with high stabilities and strong resistances on 2024 Al alloy that are robust to harsh environments. First, a simple hydrothermal treatment in a La­(NO3)3 aqueous solution was used to fabricate ginkgo-leaf like nanostructures, resulting in a superhydrophilic surface on 2024 Al. Then a low-surface-energy compound, dodecafluoroheptyl-propyl-trimethoxylsilane (Actyflon-G502), was used to modify the superhydrophilic 2024 Al, changing the surface character from superhydrophilicity to superhydrophobicity. The water contact angle (WCA) of such a superhydrophobic surface reaches up to 160°, demonstrating excellent superhydrophobicity. Moreover, the as-prepared superhydrophobic surface shows high stabilities in air-storage, chemical and thermal environments, and has strong resistances to UV irradiation, corrosion, and abrasion. The WCAs of such a surface almost remain unchanged (160°) after storage in air for 80 days, exposure in 250 °C atmosphere for 24 h, and being exposed under UV irradiation for 24 h, are more than 144° whether in acidic or alkali medium, and are more than 150° after 48 h corrosion and after abrasion under 0.98 kPa for 1000 mm length. The remarkable durability of the as-prepared superhydrophobic surface can be attributed to its stable structure and composition, which are due to the existence of lanthanum (hydr)­oxides in surface layer. The robustness of the as-prepared superhydrophobic surface to harsh environments will open their much wider applications. The fabricating approach for such robust superhydrophobic surface can be easily extended to other metals and alloys.