MS in Chemical Engineering (M.S.C.H.)
Degree Granting Department
D. Yogi Goswami, Ph.D.
Elias Stefanakos, Ph.D.
John N. Kuhn, Ph.D.
Glass Surface Treatment, Sol-Gel, Superhydrophilic, Superhydrophobic, Thin-Film
Transparent self-cleaning coatings with superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic behavior are of great interest in a wide range of industrial applications such as automotive, solar panels, windows, and optical devices. Each has its uses, properties, and characteristics. For the use of these coatings on solar panels, certain features are important in maintaining the efficiency of the panels in different weather conditions and reducing the operation and maintenance cost, such as self-cleaning, high transparency, antifouling, anti-fogging, and anti-icing. Herein, we have investigated the fabrication of self-cleaning coatings using two simple methods and ways to improve their characteristics. In the first method, a hydrophobic silica nanoparticles coating was used to fabricate a superhydrophobic surface. The second method was using sol-gel method with Methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) as a precursor. The thin-film was deposited onto a glass substrate using a dip-coating technique with a fixed dipping rate to control the film thickness. The morphology, topography and surface roughness, transparency, and surface wettability were investigated by a Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM), an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), a UV-visible spectrophotometer, and a contact angle goniometer, respectively. The results of both methods showed an improvement in the transmittance and self-cleaning properties by optimizing the coating concentration. The first method showed an optimum transmittance of around 90% and a contact angle of 162°. The surface roughness was measured to be 51 nm. The second method showed a higher optimum transmittance of around 95%, but a lower contact angle of 92.2°. The surface roughness was 9.552 nm, more than five times lower than that with the first method.
Scholar Commons Citation
Alhussain, Mohammed Khaleel M, "Fabrication and Characterization Methods of Self-Cleaning Coatings for Solar Panels Application" (2021). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.