Surface wetting/anti-wetting and liquid absorption are relevant properties of many porous solids including paper and other cellulose-based materials. Here we demonstrate how surface wetting by water and water absorption of commercially available kraft paper can be altered by thin nanoparticle coatings fabricated by liquid flame spray in facile and continuous one-step process. Surface wettability and absorption properties of paper increased with silica and decreased with titania (TiO2) nanoparticle coatings. Moreover, the water-repellent (superhydrophobic) TiO2 nanoparticle coated paper could be switched to superhydrophilic and water absorbing by ultraviolet illumination. The experiments revealed that although surface wetting and liquid absorption of nanoparticle coated paper are strongly related to each other, they are two distinct phenomena which do not necessarily correlate. We propose wetting regimes on the nanoparticle coated paper samples on the basis of the experimental observations.
- Water absorption