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Nanosecond Laser-Induced Underwater Superoleophobic and Underoil Superhydrophobic Mesh for Oil/Water Separation

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posted on 03.02.2018, 00:00 by Zhongxu Lian, Jinkai Xu, Zuobin Wang, Zhanjiang Yu, Zhankun Weng, Huadong Yu
Materials with special wettability have drawn considerable attention especially in the practical application for the separation and recovery of the oily wastewater, whereas there still remain challenges of the high-cost materials, significant time, and complicated production equipment. Here, a simple method to fabricate the underwater superoleophobic and underoil superhydrophobic brass mesh via the nanosecond laser ablation is reported for the first time, which provided the micro-/nanoscale hierarchical structures. This mesh is superhydrophilic and superoleophilic in air but superoleophobic under water and superhydrophobic under oil. On the basis of the special wettability of the as-fabricated mesh, we demonstrate a proof of the light or heavy oil/water separation, and the excellent separation efficiencies (>96%) and the superior water/oil breakthrough pressure coupled with the high water/oil flux are achieved. Moreover, the nanosecond laser technique is simple and economical, and it is advisable for the large-area and mass fabrication of the underwater superoleophobic and underoil superhydrophobic mesh in the large-scale oil/water separation.