Superomniphobic, i.e. liquid-repellent, surfaces have been an interesting area of research during recent years due to their various potential applications. However, producing such surfaces, especially on hard and resilient substrates like stainless steel, still remains challenging. We present a stepwise fabrication process of a multilayered nanocoating on a stainless steel substrate, consisting of a nanoparticle layer, a nanofilm, and a layer of silane molecules. Liquid flame spray was used to deposit a TiO2 nanoparticle layer as the bottom layer for producing a suitable surface structure. The interstitial Al2O3 nanofilm, fabricated by atomic layer deposition (ALD), stabilized the nanoparticle layer, and the topmost fluorosilane layer lowered the surface energy of the coating for enhanced omniphobicity. The coating was characterized with field emission scanning electron microscopy, focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, contact angle (CA) and sliding angle (SA) measurements, and microscratch testing. The widely recognized requirements for superrepellency, i.e. CA > 150° and SA < 10°, were achieved for deioinized water, diiodomethane, and ethylene glycol. The mechanical stability of the coating could be varied by tuning the thickness of the ALD layer at the expense of repellency. To our knowledge, this is the thinnest superomniphobic coating reported so far, with the average thickness of about 70 nm.
- liquid ﬂame spray
- atomic layer deposition
- aerosol synthesis
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