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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Sep 26;10(38):32792-32800. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b08277. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

One-Way Water Transport Fabrics Based on Roughness Gradient Structure with No Low Surface Energy Substances.

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Department of Chemistry and Applied Biological Sciences , South Dakota School of Mines and Technology , Rapid City , South Dakota 57701 , United States.


Despite great recent progress in one-way water transport (OWT) fabrics, the development of these fabrics based on roughness gradient without low surface energy materials has yet to be achieved. In this work, we prepared OWT fabrics using five polymers with hydrophobic or hydrophilic groups by constructing a roughness gradient structure along the fabric thickness. Electrospraying was used to deposit a rough layer on fabric's single side. The surface energy gradient change across the fabric thickness derived from roughness gradient structure played a major part in determining the OWT performance. With the roughness gradient structure, even polymers with hydrophilic groups, such as polyacrylonitrile and polyamide 6, could become OWT fabrics. Besides, the layer deposited on the surface of the fabric showed no effects on the air permeability of the fabric. These novel results provided an opportunity for more polymers, especially for hydrophilic polymers, to be used to prepare OWT fabrics by designing a roughness gradient along the thickness of the fabric. The method would be applied in designing of OWT fabrics with high performance.


electrospray; fabric; one-way water transport; roughness gradient


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