Self-Assembled, Ultra-Hydrophobic Micro/Nano-Textured Surfaces

Report No. ARL-TR-3547
Authors: Adam M. Rawlett, Joshua A. Orlicki, Afia Karikari, and Tim Long
Date/Pages: August 2005; 18 pages
Abstract: Hierarchical self assembly of nano-scale components (i.e., abalone shells, etc.) has been perfected by nature, yet the ability for scientists to utilize similar techniques is still in its infancy. The assembly of complex nano- and micro-components via self organizing means, rather than serial or parallel processing methods (e.g., electron beam lithography or nano-imprinting, respectively), could exploit the inherent benefit of these entities in a more elegant, economic means. The self assembly of regular arrays of nano- and microscale pores in polymer matrices, generated by so-called breath figures, will be discussed. Experimental parameters to vary the size, spacing, organization, long-range order, etc., of these selforganizing surfaces will also be discussed. Utilizing these regular arrays of pores as templates, we have patterned analogous arrays of pillars (inverse pores) from a polymer film cast onto the patterned surface. These micro-/nano-textured surfaces have greatly enhanced the hydrophobicity of the textured polymer when measured by contact angle. This method of producing ultrahydrophobic textured surfaces should be amenable to high-throughput, low-cost manufacturing of myriad polymeric surfaces.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2005