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Nanoscale. 2019 Jun 20;11(24):11774-11781. doi: 10.1039/c9nr03882e.

A hybrid bioinspired fiber trichome with special wettability for water collection, friction reduction and self-cleaning.

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School of Materials Engineering, Lanzhou Institute of Technology, Lanzhou 730050, People's Republic of China.


Inspired by biological surfaces, we designed a magnetic fiber trichome based on the surface properties of caterpillars and earthworms. The caterpillar-inspired fiber trichome possesses a cooperative superhydrophilic-superhydrophobic-slippery lubricant-infused porous surface with gradient wettability and shows excellent fog harvesting behavior due to the driving force of the gradient wettability fiber similar to caterpillar spines. The earthworm-inspired fiber trichome exhibits excellent friction reduction and antiwear properties under harsh oil-bathed friction conditions, and it moves rapidly in mud under magnetic stimulation because of the self-lubricating transfer film formed between friction contact surfaces. In addition, the earthworm-inspired fiber trichome also has continuous antifouling capacity in mud due to the self-releasing lubricating layer that can be replenished after being consumed under solid friction. Therefore, the caterpillar- and earthworm-inspired fiber trichomes extend the scope of potential applications, such as self-driven water collection, self-floating oil spill cleanup, reducing friction and wear resistance, high-efficiency antifouling, and transport of heavy loads, among others.


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