The fabrication of superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic aluminum alloys was achieved by pyrophosphoric acid anodizing and SAM (self-assembled monolayer) modification. The anodizing of three kinds of aluminum alloys, including 3004, 1N30, and 8021, in a concentrated pyrophosphoric acid solution resulted in the formation of numerous anodic alumina nanofibers. In addition, insoluble intermetallic compounds contained in the alloy matrix were exposed to the surface with increasing anodizing time, and nanofiber-tangled intermetallic particles also formed on the surface during anodizing. These anodized aluminum alloys exhibited a superhydrophilic behavior measuring less than 4° in the contact angle, and this superhydrophilicity was maintained via the long-term anodizing process. The nanofiber-covered aluminum alloys were immersed in fluorinated phosphonic acid SAM/ethanol solutions, thereby modifying SAMs on the anodic alumina nanofibers. The contact angle of the SAM-modified aluminum alloys increased with the immersion time and temperature of the SAM solution, and the surface was drastically shifted to superhydrophobicity, measuring more than 150°, from superhydrophilicity. However, exceeding 10 min in the anodizing process caused the contact angle to decrease and the gradual disappearance of hydrophobicity due to the formation of many hydrophilic intermetallic particles on the surface. The short-term pyrophosphoric acid anodizing and subsequent SAM modification are useful for the formation of various superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic aluminum alloys.
- Aluminum alloys
- Anodic alumina nanofibers