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A hierarchical mesh film with superhydrophobic and superoleophilic properties for oil and water separation



BACKGROUND: Solid surfaces possessing both superhydrophobic and superoleophilic properties have attracted great interest for fundamental research and potential application. However, fabrication of the reported surfaces is usually time-consuming and the wetability of the surfaces could not be achieved to the desired level in rugged environments.

RESULTS: A hierarchical stainless steel mesh film comprising structures with three scales of roughness was synthesized by a simple chemical bath deposition method. After being modified with a low surface energy material e.g. Teflon, these films exhibit superhydrophobic and superoleophilic properties. In this study it was demonstrated that the unique properties of the as-prepared films match well with the requirements for the effective separation of oil and water mixtures.

CONCLUSION: It was confirmed that the unique surface wetability of the surface is due to the cooperative effect of the hierarchical structures of the stainless steel mesh films and the natural low surface tension of Teflon. Furthermore, fabrication is simple and economic, and the surface exhibited robust durability even in a rugged environment. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry