Superhydrophobic and oleophobic nanoparticles

Silicon oxide (SiO2) nanoparticles can be easily prepared through a biomimetic silicification process in water at ambient conditions through the condensation of silicic acid in the presence of a small amount of poly(ethylene imine) hyperbranched polymer (PEI).1-2 The same principle was employed to produce silica nanoparticles decorated with fluoroalkyl groups in order to bestow them with both hydrophobic and oleophobic properties. This was attained by the interaction of PEI with silicic acid in the presence of perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane in aqueous media and at room temperature. The superhydrophobic and oleophobic highly fluorinated silica nanoparticles were characterized by a variety of techniques, such as FTIR, SEM, EDS, AFM, TEM, and contact angle (CA). The nanoparticles are plate-like with a uniform size of about 30 nm and thickness of about 1.2-1.4 nm and exhibit both superhydrophobic (Contact Angle>170o) and oleophobic properties.

AFM, TEM and EDS analysis of fluorinated silica nanoparticles.

Applications of these nanoparticles as top coating on painted airplane surfaces, improved aerodynamic efficiency and, at the same time, to prevent ice-formation. Therefore, these novel nanostructured top coatings with improved aerodynamic and de-icing behavior are foreseen to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Relevant Publications

1. M. Arkas, D. Tsiourvas, Organic/inorganic hybrid nanospheres based on hyperbranched poly(ethylene imine) encapsulated into silica for the sorption of toxic metal ions and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from water. J. Hazard. Mater. 2009, 170, 35–42. 

2. A. Papavasiliou, D. Tsiourvas, E. G. Deze, S. K. Papageorgiou, F. K. Katsaros, E. Poulakis, C. J. Philippopoulos, N. Boukos, Q. Xin, P. Cool, Hyperbranched polyethyleneimine towards the development of homogeneous and highly porous CuO–CeO2–SiO2 catalytic materials, Chemical Engineering Journal, 2016, 300, 343–357.

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