Plant-inspired superhydrophobic coating

Scientists have presented 3D multiscale sponges with plant-inspired controllable superhydrophobic coating for oil spill cleanup.

The melamine sponge exhibits high adsorption capacity.  Image source: marcosgarzo - Pixabay (symbol image).

A facile and universal layer-by-layer self-assembly method was used to construct superhydrophobic sponge. This superhydrophobic sponge can be fabricated by surface functionalisation of melamine sponge with gallic acid (GA) and iron (Fe) ions chelate for the enhancement of its micro/nano roughness first, followed by incorporation of hexadecyl thiol (HT) to achieve surface superhydrophobic modification.

Eco-friendly and highly-efficient

The GA-Fe-HT melamine sponge exhibits high adsorption capacity as much as 65–105 times its own weight for various oils/organic solvents. This coating endows the substrate with stable superhydrophobicity and reusability. After 100 times extrusion adsorption test, the modified porous melamine sponge still showed superhydrophobicity and good oils/organic solvents adsorption capacity.

This superhydrophobic coating exhibits excellent hydrophobic properties after long-term treatment with strong alkali, strong acid and salt solution. Additionally, this eco-friendly, highly-efficient and low-cost design strategy can be applied for various substrates to prepare hydrophobic interface.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 151, February 2021.

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