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Comparison of hydrophobicity and durability of functionalized aluminium oxide nanoparticle coatings with magnetite nanoparticles - links between morphology and wettability / Donald Hill, Andrew Barron, Shirin Alexander
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
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HypothesisThe wetting characteristics of coatings created using functionalised nanoparticles and adhesive resins, depends strongly on the particle distribution within the surface layers. Although it has been shown that commercially available adhesives improve the durability of hydrophobic nanopartic...
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HypothesisThe wetting characteristics of coatings created using functionalised nanoparticles and adhesive resins, depends strongly on the particle distribution within the surface layers. Although it has been shown that commercially available adhesives improve the durability of hydrophobic nanoparticle coatings, the wettability of these surfaces is governed by the agglomeration behaviour of the particles within the adhesive. As a consequence of this, coatings where the particles are highly agglomerated within the adhesive show lower hydrophobicity.ExperimentsThe morphology and chemical composition of coatings formed from carboxylate functionalised Al2O3 and magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles and epoxy resin on plastic was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Water contact angle (WCA) measurements were used to investigate how the coatings’ morphological characteristics and loading of the particles within the surface layers influenced their wettability. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to study carboxylate adsorption onto the magnetite nanoparticles.FindingsCombining the Al2O3 nanoparticles with epoxy resin was observed to create highly hydrophobic coatings that displayed water contact angles (WCAs) between 145-150°. These coatings displayed good durability when sonicated in isopropanol and wiped with tissue. By comparison, coatings formed from the magnetite nanoparticles were substantially less hydrophobic and displayed WCAs between 75-125° when combined with epoxy resin. SEM revealed that the magnetite nanoparticles in the coatings were present as large agglomerates. By comparison, coatings formed from the Al2O3 nanoparticles showed a more homogenous particle distribution. Furthermore, XPS showed that the resin engulfed the magnetite nanoparticles to a far greater extent. The difference in wetting behaviour of these coatings is largely attributed to their different morphologies, since the particles are similar sizes and TGA shows that the particles possess similar carboxylate grafting densities. The uneven distribution of nanoparticles in the magnetite/ epoxy resin coating is due to the particles’ magnetic properties, which drive nanoparticle agglomeration as the coatings solidify. This work demonstrates that it is important to consider inter-particle interactions when fabricating low wettability composite coatings.
Superhydrophobic, Branched hydrocarbon, Aluminium oxide nanoparticles, Magnetite nanoparticles
College of Engineering