In everyday English that’s extreme water repellent graphene foams. We’ve reported before on graphene foams and their uses in water remediation and in ultra-sensitive, trace explosives detection, now scientists at the Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science in China, and at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, have come up with a new way to create a Teflon coated, superhydrophobic graphene foam with tremendous potential when used as a film of integrated foam-like network of graphene sheets.
Apart from developing a new graphene materials handling approach, the new graphene foam is inherently strong, easy to make and manipulate. By adding a 200nm layer of Teflon to the graphene, the scientists were able to overcome waters droplet impact effect where the droplet penetrates into such films getting stuck or attached to the microscopic roughness of the surface.
Though it’s very early days, I suspect that we are about to witness the start of a whole new graphene foam based, 21st century, line of superhydrophobic products. As the abstract ends:
“Such superhydrophobic graphene foams show potential in a variety of applications ranging from anti-sticking and self-cleaning to anti-corrosion and low-friction coatings.”
Superhydrophobic Graphene Foams
The static and dynamic wetting properties of a 3D graphene foam network are reported. The foam is synthesized using template-directed chemical vapor deposition and contains pores several hundred micrometers in dimension while the walls of the foam comprise few-layer graphene sheets that are coated with Teflon. Water contact angle measurements reveal that the foam is superhydrophobic with an advancing contact angle of ?163 degrees while the receding contact angle is ?143 degrees. The extremely water repellent nature of the foam is also confirmed when impacting water droplets are able to completely rebound from the surface. Such superhydrophobic graphene foams show potential in a variety of applications ranging from anti-sticking and self-cleaning to anti-corrosion and low-friction coatings.