Research news

Multi-functional Durable Sol-Gel Film with Increased Wash Fastness

Publish Date: 05.12.2016

Category: Outstanding research achievements, Interdisciplinary research


 The sol-gel film developed by researchers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana and the National Institute of Chemistry is extremely important for the production of high-tech developed technical textile products with protective properties and high added value.

  Authors: Jelena Vasiljević, Milena Zorko, Danaja Štular, Brigita Tomšič, Ivan Jerman, Boris Orel, Jožef Medved, Barbara Simončič

Researchers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana (Jelena Vasiljević, Danaja Štular, Brigita Tomšič, Jožef Medved, Barbara Simončič) and researchers from the National Institute of Chemistry (Milena Zorko, Ivan Jerman, Boris Orel) developed a new fabrication process for multifunctional durable inorganic-organic hybrid sol-gel film for frequent washing to achieve simultaneous superhydrophobicity, self-cleaning, antimicrobal activity and improved thermal stability of polymeric substrates.

The process includes a two-stage chemical modification. In the first stage, a dual micro- and nano-length-scale rough surface of the substrate is created with the deposition of silica particles pre-synthesised according to the Stöber method followed by the in situ generation of smaller Stöber particles. During the second stage, multicomponent polymeric film is created on the topographically modified substrate surface, which in its structure includes the combination of four sol-gel precursors, namely 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane for achieving water and oil resistance; 3-(trimethyl)-propyldimethyloctadecyl ammonium chloride for achieving anti-bacterial characteristics; P,P-diphenyl-N-3-(trimethoxy)propyle) amid phosphinic acid to achieve fireproofing, and 2,4,6,8-tetrakis(2-(dietoxy(meti)silyl)ethyl)-2,4,6,8-tetramethyl-cyclotetrasiloxane for increased elasticity, orientation and adhesion for the polymer film. High durability and film stability are preserved even after repeated washings.


Process for fabrication of multi-functional sol-gel film

Image by Jelena Vasiljević

Source: Vasiljević J, Zorko M, Tomšič B, Jerman I, Simončič B (2016) Fabrication of the hierarchically roughened bumpy-surface topography for the long-lasting highly oleophobic “lotus effect”on cotton fibres. Cellulose, 23(5):3301−3318.                                                                                                                                        

Zorko M, Simončič B, Vasiljević J, Tomšič B, Jerman I, Gaberšček M. Process for preparation of self-cleaning washable and durable cotton textiles: patent no. SI 24784 A, of 29.02.2016. Ljubljana: The Slovenian Intellectual Property Office, 2016.                                     

Vasiljević J, Zorko M, Štular D, Tomšič B, Jerman I, Orel B, Medved J, Simončič B (2016) Structural optimisation of a multifunctional water- and oil-repellent, antibacterial, and flame-retardant sol-gel coating on cellulose fibres. Cellulose (in review).



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