Polycarbonate (PC) sheet is a promising material for facile patterning to induce hydrophobic self-cleaning and dust repelling properties for photovoltaic panels’ protection. An investigation to texture PC sheet surfaces to develop a self-cleaning structure using solvent induced-crystallization is carried out using acetone. Acetone is applied in both liquid and vapor states to generate a hierarchically structured surface that would improve its contacts angle and therefore improve hydrophobicity. The surface texture is investigated and characterized using atomic force microscopy, contact angle technique (Goniometer), optical microscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV–vis) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The findings revealed that the liquid acetone-induced crystallization of PC surface leads to a hierarchal and hydrophobic surface with an average contact angle of 135° and average transmittance <2%. However, the acetone vapor induced-crystallization results in a slightly hydrophilic hierarchal textured surface with high transmittance; in which case, average contact angle of 89° and average transmittance of 69% are achieved.

Paper: Ahmed OwaisMazen M. KhaledBekir S. YilbasNuman Abu-DheirKripa K. VaranasiKamal Y. Toumi, Journal of Applied Polymer Science

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