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Issue 21, 2011
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Hydrophilic and superhydrophilic surfaces and materials

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The term superhydrophilicity is only 11–12 years old and was introduced just after the explosion of research on superhydrophobic surfaces, in response to the demand for surfaces and coatings with exceptionally strong affinity to water. The definition of superhydrophilic substrates has not been clarified yet, and unrestricted use of this term to hydrophilic surfaces has stirred controversy in the last few years in the surface chemistry community. In this review, we take a close look into major definitions of hydrophilic surfaces used in the past, before we review the physics behind the superhydrophilic phenomenon and make recommendation on defining superhydrophilic surfaces and coatings. We also review chemical and physical methods used in the fabrication of substrates on surfaces of which water spreads completely. Several applications of superhydrophilic surfaces, including examples from the authors' own research, conclude this review.

Graphical abstract: Hydrophilic and superhydrophilic surfaces and materials

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Article information

08 May 2011
22 Jun 2011
First published
08 Aug 2011

Soft Matter, 2011,7, 9804-9828
Article type
Review Article

Hydrophilic and superhydrophilic surfaces and materials

J. Drelich, E. Chibowski, D. D. Meng and K. Terpilowski, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 9804
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05849E

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