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Title: Prototyping of Superhydrophobic Surfaces from Structure-Tunable Micropillar Arrays Using Visible Light Photocuring
A new approach is reported to fabricate micropillar arrays on transparent surfaces by employing the light‐induced self‐writing technique. A periodic array of microscale optical beams is transmitted through a thin film of photo‐crosslinking acrylate resin. Each beam undergoes self‐lensing associated to photopolymerization‐induced changes in the refractive index of the medium, which counters the beam's natural tendency to diverge over space. As a result, a microscale pillar grows along each beam's propagation path. Concurrent, parallel self‐writing of micropillars leads to the prototyping of micropillar‐based arrays, with the capability to precisely vary the pillar diameter and inter‐spacing. The arrays are spray coated with a thin layer of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanoparticles to create large‐area superhydrophobic surfaces with water contact angles greater than 150° and low contact angle hysteresis. High transparency is achieved over the entire range of micropillar arrays explored. The arrays are also mechanically durable and robust against abrasion. This is a scalable, straightforward approach toward structure‐tunable micropillar arrays for functional surfaces and anti‐wetting applications.
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Advanced Engineering Materials
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National Science Foundation
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