Ennaceri, H.; Wang, L.; Erfurt, D.; Riedel, W.; Mangalgiri, G.; Khaldoun, A.; El Kenz, A.; Benyoussef, A.; Ennaoui, A.: Water resistant surfaces using zinc oxide structured nanorod arrays with switchable wetting property. Surface & Coatings Technology 299 (2016), p. 169-276
Open Accesn Version

This study presents an experimental approach for fabricating super-hydrophobic coatings based on a dual roughness structure composed of zinc oxide nanorod arrays coated with a sputtered zinc oxide nano-layer. The ZnO nanorod arrays were grown by means of a low-temperature electrochemical deposition technique (75 °C) on FTO substrates. The ZnO nanorods show a (002) orientation along the c-axis, and have a hexagonal structure, with an average length of 710 nm, and average width of 156 nm. On the other hand, the crystallite size of the top-coating sputtered ZnO layer is of 30 nm. The as-deposited ZnO nanorod arrays exhibited a hydrophobic behavior, with a surface water contact angle of 108°, whereas the dual-scale roughness ZnO nanorods coated with sputtered ZnO exhibited a super-hydrophobic behavior, with a surface water contact angle of 157° and a high water droplet adhesion. The photo-catalytic activity of the samples was investigated against the degradation of methylene blue under UV-A irradiation (365 nm). The ZnO nanorod arrays showed good photocatalytic activity whereas the superhydrophobic ZnO nanorod arrays top-coated with sputtered ZnO showed minimal activity regarding the degradation of methylene blue. The superhydrophobic films exhibited high sensitivity to UV light, with a UV-induced switching behavior from super-hydrophobic to super-hydrophilic after only 30 min of UV exposure.