Hydrophobic paper

Hydrophobic paper – water repellent coated paper, effective on cotton, paper, silicon, or glass.

Developed by a Korea company called Th Kim Group. The concept is based on Lotus effect along with a few other plants and animals, have the ability to shed dirt and water due to surface qualities.

Kim’s coating is applied with a handheld scanning atmospheric RF plasma device using tetrafluorocarbon as a process gas in the plasma. Compared to other superhydrophobic coatings, such as surface treatments with nanotubes, it’s a fast and cheap technique, Kim asserts. Other companies have developed their own self-cleaning coatings, but Kim believes there is room for one more. A Korean company is sponsoring his research.

“We could imagine many applications,” Kim remarks ruefully, “if we could solve one problem – durability. Once we apply too much mechanical force, such as in a washing machine, my coated polo shirt is no longer superhydrophobic.” Once that problem is solved, windshield wipers and fogged eyeglasses will be history.

Seong Kim is associate professor of chemical engineering.

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