Researchers Develop Hybrid Superamphiphobic Anti-corrosion and Anti-icing Coating

Superhydrophobic materials have been extensively reported and confirmed to have great potential in various fields, including self-cleaning, oil-water separation, liquid manipulation, radiative cooling, corrosion resistance, anti-icing, anti-biofouling, anti-scaling, and energy harvest. 

However, the practical application of superhydrophobic protective materials still faces challenges due to the wetting of low-surface tension liquids. The adherence of liquids with lower surface tension, such as oil droplets and organic reagents, can lead to the irreversible transition from Cassie–Baxter contact to Wenzel contact at the gas-liquid-solid interface, resulting in the loss of multi-functions. 

Recently, the research team led by Prof. ZHANG Binbin from the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS) reported an organic-inorganic hybrid superamphiphobic coating with integrated functionalities of liquid repellency, self-cleaning, anti-corrosion, and anti-icing. 

The study was published in Journal of Materials Science & Technology on Dec. 14. 

The designed coating demonstrates a typical Cassie-Baxter interfacial phase contact state and superior liquid-repellent superhydrophobic and superoleophobic properties, with static water/oil contact angles >151° and sliding angles < 7°. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and Tafel polarization results confirm that the charge transfer resistance (Rct) and low-frequency modulus (|Z|0.01Hz) have improved by 7-8 orders of magnitude. The corrosion potential positively shifted by 590 mV with corrosion current density reduced to be 3.47 × 10–10 A/cm2, which is 4 orders of magnitude lower than that of the bare metallic substrate. In addition to laboratory evaluations, the coating can also endure its superamphiphobic non-wetting state after 480 h of salt spray and 2400 h of out-door atmospheric exposure. What's more, the freezing test of a stained water droplet carried out at –10 °C and –15 °C confirmed its excellent anti-icing capability, with prolonged freezing time and remarkably reduced ice adhesion strength.  

The excellent performance of the coating can be attributed to its characteristic Cassie–Baxter non-wetting contact and low surface energy, reducing the solid-liquid contact area with the corrosive liquid and the rate of heat conduction. "We firmly believe that the design and development of self-cleaning superamphiphobic anti-corrosion and anti-icing coatings will provide effective solutions to challenges such as self-cleaning of surface pollutants, corrosion protection of metallic materials, and surface icing in low-temperature environments," said Prof. ZHANG, first and corresponding author of the study. 

This study was financially supported by the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

The superamphiphobic, corrosion resistance, delayed icing, and long-term real-world anti-corrosion performance. 

Binbin Zhang*, Guang Yang, Weichen Xu, Jizhou Duan, Baorong Hou. (2024). Hybrid superamphiphobic anti-corrosion coating with integrated functionalities of liquid repellency, self-cleaning, and anti-icing. Journal of Materials Science & Technology, 184, 256-268. 

(Text by ZHANG Binbin) 

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(Editor: ZHANG Yiyi)