Icephobic surfaces have gained immense attention owing to their significant roles in decreasing the energy consumption of refrigerators and in improving safety issues by preventing the formation of ice on them. Superhydrophobic surfaces incorporating micro- or nanoscale roughness and hydrophobic functional groups have been shown to prevent ice accumulation. Herein, we report a simple, low-cost, and solution-based one-step process for the production of superhydrophobic surfaces with three-dimensional (3D) self-assembled structures. The controlled hydrolysis and polycondensation of n-octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS-Cl) in an acetone solution produced a highly uniform superhydrophobic surface on various substrates such as glass, metals, and polymers without the limitation of the surface curvature structure. The as-prepared 3D self-assembled surface exhibited a very high contact angle of 161.7° and a low contact hysteresis of 1.47°. The solvent type, H2O content in acetone, and carbon chain length of the silane compound were critical in the formation of self-assembled nanostructures. The thickness of the superhydrophobic 3D self-assembled structure could be varied by controlling the surface properties of the glass substrate. In addition, a novel octadecyl silica nanosquare plate structure was formed as an intermediate for the microlamella structure. The water drop impact experiments on the 3D self-assembled superhydrophobic glass substrates at low temperatures (T < -25 °C) showed that the as-prepared superhydrophobic glass possessed a high impalement threshold for water contact, resulting in excellent and stable icephobic properties. The preparation method proposed in this study is scalable and can be used on a flat glass surface or in a glass vial inside a glass tube. Moreover, it can be applied to various substrates such as metals and polyurethane surfaces with curvature. Therefore, the solution-based self-assembly method proposed in this study is a promising approach to produce superhydrophobic and icephobic surfaces on a wide range of substrates regardless of their structure and properties.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was also supported by the National Research Fund of Korea (2017M3D1A1039421) and the KU-KIST school project.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces