Functional and Versatile Superhydrophobic Coatings via Stoichiometric Silanization

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Superhydrophobic coatings have tremendous potential for applications in different fields and have been achieved commonly by increasing nanoscale roughness and lowering surface tension. Limited by the availability of either ideal nano-structural templates or simple fabrication procedures, the search of superhydrophobic coatings that are easy to manufacture and are robust in real-life applications remains challenging for both academia and industry. Herein, we report an unconventional protocol based on a single-step, stoichiometrically controlled reaction of long-chain organosilanes with water, which creates micro- to nano-scale hierarchical siloxane aggregates dispersible in industrial solvents (as the coating mixture). Excellent superhydrophobicity (ultrahigh water contact angle >170° and ultralow sliding angle <1°) has been attained on solid materials of various compositions and dimensions, by simply dipping into or spraying with the coating mixture. It has been demonstrated that these complete waterproof coatings hold excellent properties in terms of cost, scalability, robustness, and particularly the capability of encapsulating other functional materials (e.g. luminescent dyes).
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