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Preparation and Photocatalytic Wettability Conversion of TiO2-Based Superhydrophobic Surfaces

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posted on 07.11.2006, 00:00 by Xintong Zhang, Ming Jin, Zhaoyue Liu, Shunsuke Nishimoto, Hidenori Saito, Taketoshi Murakami, Akira Fujishima
We present here a facile method for the preparation of TiO2-based superhydrophobic surfaces. It consists of two steps:  (1) roughening of the TiO2 surface with a rf (radio frequency) plasma with CF4 as an etchant and (2) modification of the roughened TiO2 surface with an octadodecylphosphonic acid (ODP) monolayer. Plasma etching caused the thinning of the TiO2 film but at the same time enhanced its surface roughness. A discontinuous wedgelike surface microtexture was formed after etching for 30 s, which, after modification with a monolayer of ODP, showed Cassie-type water super-repellency with a contact angle (CA) hysteresis smaller than 2°. The state of water super-repellency (water CA >165°) could be converted to the state of superhydrophilicity (water CA ∼0°) by means of ultraviolet (UV) illumination as a result of the photocatalytic decomposition of the ODP monolayer by TiO2. Readsorption of ODP molecules leads directly to the recovery of water super-repellency.