Zinc, silicon, and steel superhydrophobic surfaces were prepared by a simple solution-immersion technique. In the case of zinc, the method consists of dipping of the substrate in a prehydrolyzed methanol solution of 1H,1H,2H,2H-(perfluorooctyl)trichlorosilane [CF(3)(CF(2))(5)(CH(2))(2)SiCl(3), PFTS] for 24 h at 50 degrees C. Micron-sized spheres (1.7-2 microm in diameter) were formed on the zinc substrate at 50 degrees C, while a featureless coating was obtained when the solution-immersion process was conducted at room temperature. When the reaction was performed at room temperature, the formation of superhydrophobic coatings took several days (up to 5 days). In contrast, immersion of silicon or steel substrates in the PFTS/methanol solution led to the formation of hydrophobic interfaces even for a prolonged immersion period at 50 degrees C. The formation of superhydrophobic surfaces on silicon and steel surfaces was only possible if a zinc foil was added in the PFTS/methanol solution containing the silicon or steel substrate. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis was used to characterize the resulting surfaces and to underline a plausible reaction mechanism.