Tailored nanoporous coatings fabricated on conformable polymer substrates.

ACS applied materials & interfaces(2012)

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Abstract
Nanoporous coatings have become the subject of intense investigation, in part because they have been shown to have unique and tailorable physical properties that can depart greatly from their dense or macroscopic counterparts. Nanoporous coatings are frequently fabricated utilizing oblique-angle or glancing-angle physical vapor-phase deposition techniques. However, a significant limitation for such coatings exists; they are almost always deposited on smooth and rigid planar substrates, such as silicon and glass. This limitation greatly constrains the applicability, tailorability, functionality and even the economic viability, of such nanoporous coatings. Here, we report our findings on nanoporous/polymer composite systems (NPCS) fabricated by utilizing oblique-angle electron-beam methodology. These unique composite systems exhibit several favorable characteristics, namely, (i) fine-tuned control over coating nanoporosity and thickness, (ii) excellent adhesion between the nanoporous coating and polymer substrate, (iii) the ability to withstand significant and repeated bending, and (iv) the ability to be molded conformably on two and three-dimensional surfaces while closely retaining the composite system's designed nanoporous film structure and, hence, properties.
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Key words
nanoporous,thin-film,optical coating,conformable,polymer,oblique-angle
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