Sol-Gel-Based Hybrid Materials as Antifouling and Fouling-Release Coatings for Marine Applications

Wanka, R. and Koc, J. and Clarke, J. and Hunsucker, K.Z. and Swain, G.W. and Aldred, N. and Finlay, J.A. and Clare, A.S. and Rosenhahn, A.

Volume: 12 Pages: 53286-53296
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c15288
Published: 2020

Hybrid materials (HMs) offer unique properties as they combine inorganic and organic components into a single material. Here, we developed HM coatings for marine antifouling applications using sol-gel chemistry and naturally occurring polysaccharides. The coatings were characterized by spectroscopic ellipsometry, contact angle goniometry, AFM, and ATR-FTIR, and their stability was tested in saline media. Marine antifouling and fouling-release properties were tested in laboratory assays against the settlement of larvae of the barnacle Balanus improvisus and against the settlement and removal of the diatom Navicula incerta. Furthermore, laboratory data were confirmed in short-term dynamic field assays in Florida, USA. All hybrid coatings revealed a superior performance in the assays compared to a hydrophobic reference. Within the hybrids, those with the highest degree of hydrophilicity and negative net charge across the surface performed best. Alginate and heparin showed good performance, making these hybrid materials promising building blocks for fouling-resistant coatings. © 2020 American Chemical Society.

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