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Keywords:

  • smart transportation;
  • functionally cooperating devices;
  • temperature-responsive polymers;
  • superhydrophilicity;
  • superhydrophobicity
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A “smart”, functionally cooperating device consisting of a platinum strip and steel bead inside a nickel foam cube with a temperature-responsive polymer coating shows a diving–surfacing cycle when the water temperature first falls below and then rises above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the polymer, which marks the change from superhydrophobicity to superhydrophilicity. Furthermore, the smart device allows a cycled directional delivery of lipophilic molecules between three phases.