Superhydrophobic hybrid paper sheets with janus-type wettability
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We introduce the design of Janus-type paper sheets where one side of the paper exhibits superhydrophobic properties, whereas the other side of the sheet remains hydrophilic and therefore can take up aqueous solutions by capillary wicking. Such papers are being prepared by chemically immobilizing a thin hybrid coating on paper sheets that consists of cross-linked poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and inorganic particles of various sizes ranging from nanometers to several tens of micrometers. Both commercially available Whatman No. 1 filter paper and lab-engineered cotton linters-based paper substrates were treated with this approach. The hybrid paper sheets have high chemical durability, mechanical stability, and flexibility because of a covalent attachment of the particles to paper fibers and the inherent elasticity of PDMS chains. In spite of the superhydrophobicity of the coating, the untreated side of the paper substrates preserved its hydrophilicity, resulting in Janus type wetting and wicking properties, respectively. The functionalized paper samples remained porous and permeable to gases, while possessing a gradual change in chemistry between the two sides exhibiting a dramatic wetting contrast. Such two-sided properties open up new applications for such hybrid paper materials, such as in wound dressings and/or bandages with a liquid directing and confinement ability.