The major influence of the substrate nature on the formation of nanotubes with high water adhesion using a templateless electropolymerization process
Inspired by nature, the development of nanotubes on surfaces is an excellent way to control both surface hydrophobicity and water adhesion. Among the methods used in the literature, nanotube arrays can be deposited very quickly using a templateless electropolymerization process. Naphtho[2,3-b]thieno[3,4-e][1,4]dioxine (NaphDOT) was found to be an excellent monomer to obtain nanotubes in organic solvent and without surfactant. It allows the stabilization of gas bubbles produced from trace water. Here, we show how the substrate nature can affect the surface morphology and wettability. Three different substrates are used (gold as noble substrate and stainless steel and nickel as noble substrate oxidizible in the range of the monomer) as well as two electropolymerization methods (constant potential and cyclic voltammetry). We show that depending on the electropolymerization method, the substrate nature can highly affect the formation of nanotubes because of surface oxidation. Hence, for the formation of nanotubes on non-noble substrate it could be envisaged in the future to add a sub-layer in order to avoid surface oxidation.
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