Larmour, I.A., Saunders, G.C. & Bell, S.E.J. (2010). Compressed metal powders that remain superhydrophobic after abrasion. Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2(10), 2703-2706.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5073
Superhydrophobic “lotus effect” materials are typically not sufficiently robust for most real world applications because their small surface features are both easily damaged and vulnerable to fouling. Here, a method for preparing a new type of superhydrophobic (θ > 162°) composite material by compression of superhydrophobic metal particles is reported. This material, which has no natural analogue, has low-surface-energy microstructures extending throughout its whole volume. Removing its outer layer by abrasion or cutting deep into it does not result in loss of superhydrophobicity because it merely exposes a fresh portion of the underlying superhydrophobic material. The high contact angle is therefore retained even after accidental damage, and vigorous abrasion can be used to restore hydrophobicity after fouling.