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Methodology for Robust Superhydrophobic Fabrics and Sponges from In Situ Growth of Transition Metal/Metal Oxide Nanocrystals with Thiol Modification and Their Applications in Oil/Water Separation

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posted on 2013-03-13, 00:00 authored by Ben Wang, Jing Li, Guiyuan Wang, Weixin Liang, Yabin Zhang, Lei Shi, Zhiguang Guo, Weimin Liu
Solid surfaces possessing both superhydrophobic and superoleophilic properties have attracted significant interest in fundamental investigations and potential applications in the fields of self-cleaning surfaces, oil/water separation, and microfluidic channels. In this paper, a general methodology for robust superhydrophobic fabrics and sponges was proposed via the in situ growth of both transition-metal oxides and metallic nanocrystals, including the simple neutralization reaction and oxidation–reduction reaction. The porous surfaces coated with Group VIII and IB nanocrystals (such as Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Ag) can not only present multiscale surface roughness, but also readily coordinate with thiols, leading to special wettability. In our previous work, it has been confirmed that the interaction between the nanocrystals and thiols plays a significant role in the introduction of hydrophobic ingredients. In this work, it has been demonstrated that the efficient control of the nucleation and growth of Group VIII and IB nanocrystals on the porous surfaces becomes the key factor in the formation of multiscale surface roughness, resulting in the achievement of controllable special wettability. In addition, these as-prepared superhydrophobic and superoleophilic fabrics and sponges were successfully used for application in oil/water separation.

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