Functionalization methods developed in this research line enable us to induce superhydrophilicity or superhydrophobicity on any surface. These approaches rely on sol-gel chemistry and hydrothermal synthesis, using inorganic materials (e.g. TiO2, SiO2 or ZnO) and hybrid organic-inorganic ones (e.g. hexadecyltrimethoxysilane). This skill is now exploited to develop new original approaches. For instance, a simplified photolithography method enables us to spatially control the surface wettability at the sub-millimetre scale. We also develop nanostructured composite membranes by infiltrating nanostructures with polymers. Such membrane may overcome the trade-off between permeability and selectivity, thus achieving highly efficient water purification while preventing biofouling on the membrane surfaces.
Wettability contrasts on a same surface (insets represent a side view of water droplets) (a), ZnO nanowires impregnated by polystyrene for membrane applications (b), persistent superhydrophobic surface inspired by the lotus leaf morphology (inset) (c).
Physical Chemistry at Interfaces, advanced structural characterization
- "Morphology-wettability relations in artificially structured superhydrophilic TiO2-SiO2 composite films", C. Holtzinger, B. Niparte, G. Berthomé, D. Riassetto, M. Langlet, J Mater Sci 48(8) (2013) 3107. - "Superhydrophobic TiO2 coatings formed through a non-fluorinated wet chemistry route", C. Holtzinger, B. Niparte, S. Wächter, G. Berthomé, D. Riassetto, M. Langlet, Surf Sci 617 (2013) 141. - "Surface Functionalization by Sol-Gel Chemistry", D. Riassetto, C. Ternon, M. Langlet, 3rd World Congress and Expo on Nanotechnology, Singapour, 7-9 November 2016. - "From Superhydrophilic to Superhydrophobic Surfaces", D. Riassetto, M. Langlet, C. Ternon, MRS Fall Meeting, 26 November-1December 2017, Boston, USA.