Interesting research into creating hydrophobic surfaces with atmospheric plasma

Plasma Deposition at Atmospheric Pressure

Feature Article - Hydrophobic Surfaces with Atmospheric Plasma

Interesting research into creating hydrophobic surfaces with atmospheric plasma

Rapid Formation of Transparent Superhydrophobic Film on Glasses by He/CH4/C4F8 Plasma Deposition at Atmospheric Pressure

A transparent superhydrophobic surface on glass is prepared by a rapid single-step method using a He/CH4/C4F8 mixture plasma at atmospheric pressure. Water droplet contact angles and surface properties are investigated to analyze both chemical and physical characteristics of the plasma treated surfaces. As the C4F8 gas flow rate is increased in the He/CH4 plasma, both advancing, and receding water contact angles are increased, while UV-visible transmittance is degraded.

By optimizing the gas mixture ratio, we find rapid deposition conditions for super-hydrophobic formation without losing the visible to near-infrared transparency of the glass. The chemical and physical mechanism responsible for hydrophobicity is also discussed through the investigation of chemical composition and surface morphology.

Images displaying surface roughness and plasma processes

1. Introduction

Surface treatment technologies to prepare hydrophobic materials have been widely developed due to their unique characteristics and various application areas. One common application is the use of a water repellant coating on windshields to improve visibility when it rains. This water repellant property is also preferred in many applications such as sunglasses, windowpanes, and outdoor wear.

Industrial use of hydrophobic materials has also increased in micro-devices, solar power, and biomedical devices. [1–4] In addition, transparent and hydrophobic surfaces have been favored in solar cell modules because transparency is important for solar power applications in addition to hydrophobicity. [5,6]

In real environments, in addition, dust particles can be accumulated on the solar cell surface, which block the sunlight and reduce power efficiency. To avoid the problem, the hydrophobic surfaces showing a self-cleaning function are desired. [5,6]

Surface treatment affects the chemical and/or physical properties that are related in a complex manner to the hydrophobicity, which is typically estimated by measuring the water droplet contact angle (WCA).

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