Crystal Orientation-Wetting Property Relationships for Cerium Oxide
Improving the durability of superhydrophobic surfaces is of significant interest in the surface engineering community. We have recently developed a novel superhydrophobic coating with a hard nanocrystalline nickel matrix and embedded hydrophobic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) particles. To further improve the mechanical robustness of the non-wetting coating, the soft polymeric PTFE particles were replaced with hard, hydrophobic cerium oxide ceramic particles. However, the intrinsic hydrophobic properties of cerium oxide are not well understood. In the proposed research project, single crystal cerium oxide films with different crystallographic orientations will be produced by a pulsed laser deposition process and the wetting properties will be evaluated. Since the arrangement of cerium and oxygen atoms on the surface differs with orientation, we hypothesize that the wetting properties of cerium oxide surfaces vary with orientation. By understanding orientation effects on wetting properties, we can expect to be able to better engineer a durable superhydrophobic surface.