Superhydrophobic surfaces with dual-scale roughness and water vapor-barrier property for sustainable liquid packaging applications

Xue Zhang, Hongjie Zhang, Yun Cheng, Liyuan Zhang, Wei Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


There is an ongoing unmet global need to manufacture novel sustainable liquid packaging materials, that are not based on plastic film or aluminum foil. Superhydrophobic coating technologies have been proposed for developing more sustainable packaging materials. In this study, the underlying engineering principles for fabricating superhydrophobic surfaces proposed for liquid packaging are investigated, including but not limited to the substrates used and engineering properties of the surfaces. Specifically, to improve the engineering performance of superhydrophobic paper for use in packaging, the feasibility of combining platy montmorillonite (MMT, for its barrier properties) and nano-rolling-pin-shaped precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC, for its superhydrophobicity) into multifunctional coating layers is investigated. Water droplet evaporation experiments are performed to identify how subtle changes in the morphological structures of as-prepared superhydrophobic paper samples can produce a useful roughness structure for packaging applications. Paperboard, which is widely utilized in packaging, is chosen as a substrate to study the challenges of fabricating superhydrophobic paperboards for use in packaging. The results of this study provide engineering principles for using sustainable paper-based materials with a dual-scale roughness structure and barrier properties in liquid packaging applications. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9777–9790
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Nanocomposite coating
  • Nanoparticles
  • Paper-based packaging
  • Superhydrophobic
  • Water vapor-barrier property

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