Future research and development of superoleophobic surfaces

Superoleophobic surfaces, that are highly repellent to low-surface-tension oils and organic liquids, are poorly understood. To this end, researchers discuss challenges and perspectives regarding future research and development of superoleophobic surfaces.

The future of superoleophobic surfaces. Source: Pixabay -

Inspired by springtails (collembolan), a third factor, re-entrant surface curvature, has been introduced to the design and fabrication system of superoleophobic surfaces in conjunction with two other factors of surface chemical composition and roughness.

Recent research progress

Over the past decade, superoleophobic surfaces have attracted tremendous attention with respect to their design, fabrication and applications due to their extraordinary properties. This review focuses on these aspects and thus summarises recent research progress in superoleophobic surfaces. Starting from the origin, features of natural oil-resistant creatures have been introduced, and fundamental theories for surface design have been discussed. Calculations suggest that creation of these surfaces requires specific re-entrant structures and fluoride modifiers. Based on this principle, various fabrication methods, from top-down to bottom-up approaches, have been used, and some derivative structures with desirable properties have been produced.

Optimising craft and performance

A precise and detailed classification with representative methods and structures as well as functions (i.e., transparence and self-healing) has been provided. Significantly, superoleophobic materials have many valuable applications, including oil pollution resistance, oil transportation, and synthesis of mesoporous supraparticles. However, their complicated manufacturing techniques, poor physical-chemical properties and environmentally unfriendly surface chemicals jointly impede their real-life applications. Therefore, it is highly necessary to optimise the craft and performance of theses surfaces for industrial operation and practical applications.

The study is published in: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Issue 28, 2017

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