Date of Award

12-2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor

Luzinov, Igor A

Committee Member

Brown , Philip J

Committee Member

Lickfield , Gary C

Committee Member

Luo , Jian

Committee Member

Hirt , Douglas E

Abstract

The wettability of a solid surface is a very important property, and is governed by both the chemical composition and the geometrical microstructure of the surface. Wettability and repellency are important properties of solid surfaces from both fundamental and practical aspects. The wettability of the solid surface is a characteristic property of materials and strongly depends on both the surface energy and the surface roughness. These properties may be approached by mimicking hydrophobic structures created by nature on lotus leaf surface. The lotus effect is based on surface roughness caused by different microstructures together with the hydrophobic properties of the epicuticular wax.
The present study investigates the basic principles involved in the fabrication of lotus-like materials on both fibrous and inorganic substrates utilizing the two essential requirements, surface roughness and hydrophobicity. The surface roughness was created either by a porous or a bumpy profile while the hydrophobicity was achieved by grafting a non-fluorinated hydrophobic polymer. For the porous profiles, polymer blend systems showing phase separation were utilized whereas the bumpy profiles were achieved using nanoparticles such as calcium carbonate, silver, or silica particles. In the last part of the research, functionalization of silica nanoparticles was investigated and the development of a universal modification step to obtain the ultrahydrophobic property is reported. In this approach, the adsorption of the polymer and the nanoparticles to fibers has been optimized and the self-cleaning effect of these fabrics modified with silica nanoparticles has also been demonstrated.

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