A facile route to mechanically durable responsive surfaces with reversible wettability switching†
Development of responsive surfaces with switchable hydrophobicity is hindered by their limited mechanical stability. Herein, to address this problem, we fabricated a mechanically durable responsive surface of CNTs/polyethylene composite coating by a facile route. Superhydrophobic CNTs/polyethylene composite coating was fabricated by a hot-pressing process, followed by Ag deposition and surface fluoration. Air-plasma treatment and surface fluoration were used to tune the surface chemical composition and thereby to alter the surface wettability between superhydrophobicity and superhydrophilicity. The mechanical stability of the resulting responsive surface was evaluated by an abrasion test, and the results showed that the surface still exhibited its reversible wettability switching even after repeated abrasion. Furthermore, the function of reversible wettability switching of the responsive surface can be regenerated when failure of this function occurred.