Applied Surface Science, Vol.255, No.16, 7439-7445, 2009
Superhydrophobic surfaces via electroless displacement of nanometric Cu layers by Ag+
This paper explores the possibility of making hydrophobic and superhydrophobic surfaces from electroless displacement of Cu by Ag+, in the case where Cu oxidation is limited owing to Cu layers of nanometric thicknesses. The morphology of the Ag layers is studied by scanning electron microscopy for Cu thicknesses between 10 and 80 nm. The mapping of the elemental content of the layers by electron dispersive X-ray analysis also has been used to clarify the particle growing by diffusion limited aggregation. It is shown that the average size and the shape complexity of the Ag particles increase with the Cu thickness. The addition of dimethyl sulfoxide in the Ag+ aqueous solution improves the surface homogeneity, increases the particle density and decreases their sizes. The wetting behaviour of the surfaces, after grafting with octadecanethiol, has been studied from measurements of the contact angles of a drop of water. According to the thickness of the initial Cu layer and the morphology of the Ag layer, contact angles range between 110 degrees and 154 degrees. Superhydrophobic surfaces are obtained from 80 nm thick Cu layers. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.