Superomniphobic surfaces showing extremely liquid-repellent properties have received a great amount of attention as they can be used in various industrial and biomedical applications. However, so far, the fabrication processes of these materials mostly have involved the coating of perfluorocarbons onto micro- and nanohierarchical structures of these surfaces, which inevitably causes environmental pollution, leading to health concerns. Herein, we developed a facile method to obtain flexible superomniphobic surfaces without perfluorocarbon coatings that have shape-tunable mushroom-like micropillars (MPs). Inspired by the unique structures on the skin of springtails, we fabricated mushroom-like structures with downward facing edges (i.e., a doubly re-entrant structure) on a surface. The flexible MP structures were fabricated using a conventional micromolding technique, and the shapes of the mushroom caps were made highly tunable via the deposition of a thin aluminum (Al) layer. Due to the compressive residual stress of the Al, the mushroom caps were observed to bend toward the polymer upon forming doubly re-entrant-MP structures. The obtained surface was found to repel most low-surface-tension liquids such as oils, alcohols, and even fluorinated solvents. The developed flexible superomniphobic surface showed liquid repellency even upon mechanical stretching and after surface energy modification. We envision that the developed superomniphobic surface with high flexibility and wetting resistance after surface energy modification will be used in a wide range of applications such as self-cleaning clothes and gloves.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (Grant NRF-2017M3A7B4049466), R&D program of MOTIE/KEIT (Grant 10064081, Development of fiber-based flexible multimodal pressure sensor and algorithm for gesture/posture-recognizable wearable devices) and KIST institutional program (2E29340, 2V06510).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)