Mussel-inspired polydopamine (PDA) chemistry and electroless deposition approaches were used to prepare stable superhydrophobic coatings on wood surfaces. The as-formed PDA coating on a wood surface exhibited a hierarchical micro/nano roughness structure, and functioned as an “adhesive layer” between the substrate and a metallic film by the metal chelating ability of the catechol moieties on PDA, allowing for the formation of a well-developed micro/nanostructure hierarchical roughness. Additionally, the coating acted as a stable bridge between the substrate and hydrophobic groups. The morphology and chemical components of the prepared superhydrophobic wood surfaces were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The PDA and octadecylamine (OA) modified surface showed excellent superhydrophobicity with a water contact angle (CA) of about 153° and a rolling angle (RA) of about 9°. The CA further increased to about 157° and RA reduced to about 5° with the Cu metallization. The superhydrophobic material exhibited outstanding stability in harsh conditions including ultraviolet aging, ultrasonic washing, strong acid-base and organic solvent immersion, and high-temperature water boiling. The results suggested that the PDA/OA layers were good enough to confer robust, degradation-resistant superhydrophobicity on wood substrates. The Cu metallization was likely unnecessary to provide significant improvements in superhydrophobic property. However, due to the amazing adhesive capacity of PDA, the electroless deposition technique may allow for a wide range of potential applications in biomimetic materials.
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