Applied Surface Science, Vol.407, 479-484, 2017
Growth of high-density ZnO nanorods on wood with enhanced photostability, flame retardancy and water repellency
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorod arrays were successfully assembled on the wood surface in situ via a two-step process consisting of formation of ZnO seeds and subsequent crystal growth under hydrothermal conditions at a low temperature. The morphology and crystalline structure of the formed ZnO nanorods were studied by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Highly dense and uniform arrays of ZnO nanorods with well-defined hexagonal facets were generated on the wood surface by tuning the concentration of the ZnO growth solution during the hydrothermal treatment. Accelerated weathering tests indicated that the assembled ZnO nanorod arrays were highly protective against UV radiation and greatly enhanced the photostability of the coated wood. Meanwhile, the ZnO nanorod-coated wood can withstand continuous exposure to flame with only minor smoldering in contrast with the pristine wood catching fire easily and burning rapidly. Moreover, when further modified with low-surface-energy stearic acid, the ZnO nanorod decorated wood surface can be transformed into a superhydrophobic surface, with a water contact angle (CA) of similar to 154. Such ZnO nanorod-modified woods with enhanced photostability, flame retardancy and water repellency offer an interesting alternative to conventional wood preservation strategies, highlighting their potential applications in some novel wood products. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.