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Herein we report simple electrochemical processes to fabricate a self-healing superhydrophobic CeO2 coating on Type 304 stainless steel. The CeO2 surface anodically deposited on flat stainless steel surface is hydrophilic, although high temperature-sintered and sputter-deposited CeO2 surface was reported to be hydrophobic. The anodically deposited hydrophilic CeO2 surface is transformed to hydrophobic during air exposure. Specific accumulation of contaminant hydrocarbon on the CeO2 surface is responsible for the transformation to hydrophobic state. The deposition of CeO2 on hierarchically rough stainless steel surface produces superhydrophobic CeO2 surface, which also shows self-healing ability; the surface changes to superhydrophilic after oxygen plasma treatment but superhydrophobic state is recovered repeatedly by air exposure. This work provides a facile method for preparing a self-healing superhydrophobic surface using practical electrochemical processes.

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This article originally appeared in Applied Surface Science 423, 2017, Pages 968-976.

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