The effect of nanoparticles on the surface hydrophobicity of polystyrene
Koç University, Chemistry Department, 34450 Sariyer, Istanbul, Turkey
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Published online: 1 February 2008
The surface hydrophobicity of polystyrene-nanoparticle nanocomposites has been investigated as a function of the nanoparticle content. The addition of hydrophobically coated nanoparticles in polystyrene increased the contact angle θ of a water drop with respect to that on polystyrene surface due to change of surface composition and/or surface roughness. When the nanoparticles dispersed well in the polymer, decreased linearly with increasing amount of nanoparticles indicating a composite surface consisting of smooth polystyrene regions and rough nanoparticle regions. In case of formation of nanoparticle aggregates in polystyrene, decreased sharply at a critical concentration of nanoparticles. The observed behaviour was modeled in terms of a transition from Wenzel regime to Cassie-Baxter regime at a critical roughness length scale below which the Laplace pressure prevented the penetration of the water drop into the surface undulations. We argue that multiple length scales are needed below the critical roughness length scale to increase the contact angle further by decreasing the fraction of surface area of solid material (increasing the fraction of surface area of air) underlying the water drop.
PACS: 68.08.-p – Liquid-solid interfaces / 68.08.Bc – Wetting / 68.35.Ct – Interface structure and roughness
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2008