Advancing and receding contact angle investigations for highly sticky and slippery aluminum surfaces fabricated from nanostructured anodic oxide
The fabrication of sticky and slippery superhydrophobic aluminum was achieved by anodizing in pyrophosphoric acid and modification with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). In addition, the corresponding sliding behaviors of a water droplet were investigated by contact angle measurements and direct observations. For the formation of anodic alumina nanofibers, 4N aluminum plates were anodized in a concentrated pyrophosphoric acid solution at 25–75 V. The morphology of the anodic oxide successively changed to barrier oxide, porous oxide, nanofibers, bundle structures with many nanofibers, and then weak nanofibers during anodizing. The anodized specimens were immersed in a fluorinated phosphonic acid/ethanol solution to form SAMs on the surface of the anodic oxide. The contact angle hysteresis drastically changed with anodizing time: it increased with the formation of porous oxide, decreased for the nanofibers and bundle structures, and then increased once again for the weak nanofibers. Correspondingly, the adhesion interaction between the water droplet and the aluminum surface also drastically changed to show sticky, slippery, and sticky behaviors with anodizing time. More sticky and slippery aluminum surfaces can be obtained by anodizing at higher voltages. The slippery behavior was further improved through two distinct anodizing processes with the formation of ordered alumina nanofibers. A superhydrophobic aluminum surface with coexisting sticky and slippery properties was fabricated by the selective anodizing method.