Scratch-resistant hydrophobic coating with supramolecular-polymer co-assembly
P.-W. Lee, A. Saura-Sanmartin, C.A. Schalley – 2023
Supramolecular assembly for superhydrophobic coatings is known for its efficiency and efficacy. However, the mechanical fragility of the coatings limits their use as coating materials. Herein, we present the combination of CF7, a cyclohexyl diamide-based low molecular weight gelator, with acrylate polymers for the generation of semi-transparent omniphobic coatings with significantly enhanced scratch-proofness. CF7 has shown the ability to self-assemble in common solvents into highly entangled fibrous networks with extreme water repellency. The incorporation of covalent polymers helps to fixate the supramolecular CF7 fibers without interfering with the self-assembled structures. The resulting coatings, namely CF7/PMMA and CF7/PTFEMA, show significantly improved mechanical resistance as well as optical transparency while maintaining excellent water and oil repellency. Furthermore, the homogeneity of the coating in bulk is confirmed by depth-profiling of the 3D distribution of the components using Timeof- Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) imaging, which turns out to be an essential technique in order to characterise such materials.