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High-Transparency, Self-Standable Gel-SLIPS Fabricated by a Facile Nanoscale Phase Separation

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posted on 12.02.2014, 00:00 by Issei Okada, Seimei Shiratori
Slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPSs) that were both highly transparent and free-standing (self-standability) were fabricated by an extremely simple process using non-solvent-induced phase separation (NIPS) of a poly­(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP)/di-n-butyl phthalate solution. We call these “Gel-SLIPS” because the porous PVDF-HFP film fabricated using the NIPS process has been used as a gel electrolyte in a lithium-ion battery. In previous reports, SLIPS fabrication required complex processes, high annealing temperatures, and drying. Gel-SLIPS can be fabricated from the adjusted solution and the lubricant at room temperature and pressure in 5 min by squeegee, cast, or dip methods. NIPS is based on a quick phase separation process in situ, and reduction of the surface energy is not required because of the considerable fluorine in PVDF-HFP. Moreover, because of the flexible nanonetwork structure of PVDF-HFP, Gel-SLIPS exhibited self-standability and high transmittance (>87% at 600 nm). Gel-SLIPS is thus highly versatile in terms of the fabrication process and film characteristics.