Superhydrophobic TiO2 surfaces: Preparation, photocatalytic wettability conversion, and superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic patterning

Xintong Zhang, Min Jin, Zhaoyue Liu, Donald A. Tryk, Shunsuke Nishimoto, Taketoshi Murakami, Akira Fujishima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

246 Citations (Scopus)


We report herein the preparation and UV-stimulated wettability conversion of superhydrophobic TiO2 surfaces, as well as the preparation of superhydrophilic-superhydrophobic patterns by use of UV irradiation through a photomask. A CF4 plasma was used to roughen smooth TiO2 sol-gel films to produce a nanocolumnar morphology, and subsequent hydrophobic modification with octadecylphosphonic acid (ODP) rendered the roughened surfaces superhydrophobic. The superhydrophobic properties of these surfaces were evaluated by both static and dynamic water contact angle (CA) measurements. It was found that the surface morphology of the TiO2 film, which was dependent on the etching time, has a great influence on the observed superhydrophobic properties. The nanocolumnar surface morphology exhibited large water CA and small contact angle hysteresis (CAH); this is discussed in terms of the Wenzel equation and the Cassie-Baxter equation. Under low-intensity UV illumination (1 mW cm-2), the superhydrophobic TiO2 surface underwent a gradual decrease of water CA and finally became superhydrophilic, due to photocatalytic decomposition of the ODP monolayer. Readsorption of ODP molecules led to the recovery of the superhydrophobic state. This UV-stimulated wettability conversion was employed to prepare superhydrophilic stripes (50 and 500 μm wide) on a superhydrophobic TiO 2 surface. The pattern was able to guide water condensation, as well as the evaporation of a polystyrene microsphere suspension, due to the extremely large wettability contrast between superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14521-14529
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Oct 4 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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