Superhydrophobic and Slippery Lubricant-Infused Flexible Transparent Nanocellulose Films by Photoinduced Thiol-Ene Functionalization

Jiaqi Guo, Wenwen Fang, Alexander Welle, Wenqian Feng, Ilari Filpponen, Orlando J. Rojas, Pavel A. Levkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Films comprising nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) are suitable substrates for flexible devices in analytical, sensor, diagnostic, and display technologies. However, some major challenges in such developments include their high moisture sensitivity and the complexity of current methods available for functionalization and patterning. In this work, we present a facile process for tailoring the surface wettability and functionality of NFC films by a fast and versatile approach. First, the NFC films were coated with a layer of reactive nanoporous silicone nanofilament by polycondensation of trichlorovinylsilane (TCVS). The TCVS afforded reactive vinyl groups, thereby enabling simple UV-induced functionalization of NFC films with various thiol-containing molecules via the photo "click" thiol-ene reaction. Modification with perfluoroalkyl thiols resulted in robust superhydrophobic surfaces, which could then be further transformed into transparent slippery lubricant-infused NFC films that displayed repellency against both aqueous and organic liquids with surface tensions as low as 18 mN·m-1. Finally, transparent and flexible NFC films incorporated hydrophilic micropatterns by modification with OH, NH2, or COOH surface groups, enabling space-resolved superhydrophobic-hydrophilic domains. Flexibility, transparency, patternability, and perfect superhydrophobicity of the produced nanocellulose substrates warrants their application in biosensing, display protection, and biomedical and diagnostics devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34115-34122
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • nanocellulose
  • photochemistry
  • slippery lubricant-infused porous surface
  • superhydrophobicity
  • surface patterning
  • thiol-ene reaction


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