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Langmuir. 2019 Mar 5;35(9):3295-3301. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b04069. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

Femtosecond Laser-Induced Underwater Superoleophobic Surfaces with Reversible pH-Responsive Wettability.

Zhang J1,2, Yong J1,2, Yang Q3,2, Chen F1,2, Hou X1.

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State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing System Engineering and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Photonics Technology for Information, School of Electronics & Information Engineering , Xi'an Jiaotong University , Xi'an , 710049 , PR China.
The International Joint Research Laboratory for Micro/Nano Manufacturing and Measurement Technologies , Xi'an Jiaotong University , Xi'an , 710049 , PR China.
School of Mechanical Engineering , Xi'an Jiaotong University , Xi'an , 710049 , PR China.


Wettability-switchable surfaces have become a research hotspot because they can exhibit different superwetting states. In this paper, the copper surfaces with pH-responsive underwater-oil wettability were prepared by femtosecond laser treatment and subsequent chemical modification. The resultant surfaces showed underwater superoleophobicity in alkaline solutions but quasi-superoleophilicity in acidic solutions. The contact angles of an underwater-oil droplet on the resultant surfaces could be reversibly tuned between 157° and 12° by changing the pH of aqueous solutions. Such switchable wettability is ascribed to the modification of the alkyl and carboxylic acids groups on the laser-structured surfaces. The as-prepared surfaces have both oil-resistance and oil-collection abilities by selectively showing underwater superoleophobicity and superoleophilicity. The smart surfaces with pH-responsive oil wettability will have important applications in controlling the oil behavior in water.

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