We show here that intrinsic hydrophobicity of HfO2 thin films can be easily tuned by the variation of film thickness. We used the reactive high-power impulse magnetron sputtering for preparation of high-quality HfO2 films with smooth topography and well-controlled thickness. Results show a strong dependence of wetting properties on the thickness of the film in the range of 50-250 nm due to the dominance of the electrostatic Lifshitz-van der Waals component of the surface free energy. We have found the water droplet contact angle ranging from ≈120° for the thickness of 50 nm to ≈100° for the thickness of 2300 nm. At the same time the surface free energy grows from ≈25 mJ/m2 for the thickness of 50 nm to ≈33 mJ/m2 for the thickness of 2300 nm. We propose two explanations for the observed thickness dependence of the wetting properties: influence of the non-dominant texture and/or non-monotonic size dependence of the particle surface energy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)