Surface texturing of polycarbonate glass is carried out for improved hydrophobicity via controlled laser ablation at the surface. Optical and physical characteristics of the laser treated layer are examined using analytical tools including optical, atomic force, and scanning electron microscopes, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Contact angle measurements are carried out to assess the hydrophobicity of the laser treated surface. Residual stress in the laser ablated layer is determined using the curvature method, and microhardnes and scratch resistance are analyzed using a micro-tribometer. Findings reveal that textured surfaces compose of micro/nano pores with fine cavities and increase the contact angle to hydrophobicity such a way that contact angles in the range of 120° are resulted. Crystallization of the laser treated surface reduces the optical transmittance by 15%, contributes to residual stress formation, and enhances the microhardness by twice the value of untreated polycarbonate surface. In addition, laser treatment improves surface scratch resistance by 40%.

Paper: B.S. Yilbas, M. Khaled, N. Abu-Dheir, N. Al-Aqeeli, S.A.M. Said, A.O.M. Ahmed, K.K. Varanasi, Y.K. Toumi Applied Surface Science

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