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Development of Durable, Fluorine-free, and Transparent Superhydrophobic Surfaces for Oil/Water Separation

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journal contribution
posted on 17.04.2019, 15:34 by Chaolang Chen, Ding Weng, Shuai Chen, Awais Mahmood, Jiadao Wang
Although artificial superhydrophobic materials have extensive and significant applications in antifouling, self-cleaning, anti-icing, fluid transport, oil/water separation, and so forth, the poor robustness of these surfaces has always been a bottleneck for their development in practical industrial applications. Here, we report a facile, economical, efficient, and versatile strategy to prepare environmentally friendly, mechanically robust, and transparent superhydrophobic surfaces by combining adhesive and hydrophobic paint, which is applicable for both hard and soft substrates. The coated substrates exhibit excellent superhydrophobic property and ultralow adhesion with water (contact angle ≈ 160° and sliding angle <2°). Additionally, the coated surface maintained its superhydrophobicity even after 325 sandpaper abrasion cycles, showing remarkable mechanical robustness. Furthermore, the coated surfaces were applied to separate oil/water mixtures because of their unique characteristics of being simultaneously superhydrophobic and superoleophilic. In addition, it is believed that this fabrication method is significant, promising, and feasible for mass production of superhydrophobic surfaces for industrial applications.