Switchable Wettability Surface with Chemical Stability and Antifouling Properties for Controllable Oil–Water Separation

Membrane materials with special wettability for separating oil–water mixtures have gradually become one of the research hotspots. However, oily wastewater usually has very strong corrosiveness, which puts forward high requirements for the chemical stability of the separation membrane. In addition, oil droplets may block the pores, resulting in the decrease of separation efficiency or even separation failure. Herein, biomimetic TiO2–titanium meshes (BTTMs) with switchable wettability were successfully fabricated by one-step dip coating of poly­(vinylidene difluoride) and modified TiO2 suspension on the titanium meshes. The simple and efficient preparation method will facilitate the promotion of this smart material. Due to the controlled wettability, the BTTM can separate water or oil from an oil–water mixture as required. When the BTTM was immersed in strong corrosive solution or liquid nitrogen, the wettability did not change much, showing the good stability of the BTTM. Furthermore, the BTTM also has self-healing ability, self-recovery anti-oil-fouling properties, and self-cleaning behavior, which help it resist oil pollution and improve its recyclability. This study provides a simple and efficient strategy for fabricating a stable smart surface for on-demand controllable treatment of corrosive oily wastewater.