Silica nanoparticles (7 nm) were dispersed in solutions of a silane/siloxane mixture. The dispersions were applied, by brush, on four types of paper: (i) modern, unprinted (blank) paper, (ii) modern paper where a text was printed using a common laser jet printer, (iii) a handmade paper sheet detached from an old book, and (iv) Japanese tissue paper. It is shown that superhydrophobicity and water repellency were achieved on the surface of the deposited films, when high particle concentrations were used (≥1% w/v), corresponding to high static (θS ≈ 162°) and low tilt (θt < 3°) contact angles. To interpret these results, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to observe the surface morphologies of the siloxane-nanoparticle films. Static contact angles, measured on surfaces that were prepared from dilute dispersions (particle concentration <1% w/v), increased with particle concentration and attained a maximum value (162°) which corresponds to superhydrophobicity. Increasing further the particle concentration did not have any effect on θS. Colourimetric measurements showed that the superhydrophobic films had negligible effects on the aesthetic appearance of the treated papers. Furthermore, it is shown that the superhydrophobic character of the siloxane-nanoparticle films was stable over a wide range of pH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)