Fabrication of a Superhydrophobic Surface from a Smectic Liquid-Crystal Defect Array

A novel fabrication method is developed for the preparation of superhydrophobic surfaces. The procedure uses focal conic structures of semi-fluorinated smectic liquid crystals (LCs) whose periodic toxic focal conic domains (TFCDs) are prepared on a surface modified substrate. Reactive ion etching (RIE) on the periodic TFCD surface leads to a superhydrophobic surface with a water contact angle of 1608 and a sliding angle of 28 for a 10 mL water droplet. The results show that this phenomenon is due to the development of a dual-scale surface roughness arising from the nanoscale protuberance caused by applying the RIE process to the top of the microscale TFCD arrays. The unique surface behavior is further verified by demonstrating that RIE on a flat lamellar liquid crystal film, in which the director is aligned parallel with surface, results in a relatively low hydrophobicity as compared to when periodic TFCDs are subjected to REI. The observations made in this publication suggest that a new approach exists for selecting potential candidates of superhydrophic surface formation based on spontaneous self-assembly in smectic liquid-crystalline materials.

Kim, Y. H., D. K. Yoon, H. S. Jeong, J. H. Kim, E. K. Yoon, H. T. Jung

Adv. Funct. Mater.






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