Pigmented self-cleaning coatings with enhanced UV resilience via the limitation of photocatalytic activity and its effects†
Self-cleaning superhydrophobic surfaces are a highly sought-after class of materials which have the potential to be hugely beneficial to many commercial industries. A prospective application is within the paints and coatings industry. However, photo-degradation of titanium dioxide-based (TiO2) coatings often limits the practical implementation of applied superhydrophobic coatings. Here, we present a facile process for fabricating pigmented superhydrophobic nanomaterials which display excellent UV durability, owed to the synergistic effect of using cerium oxide (CeO2) nanoparticles and a silicone elastomer, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Composite coatings resisted photo-degradation after 250 hours of intense UV irradiation (over 100 days under ambient conditions) and continued to exhibit promising self-cleaning properties.