Imprinted MoS2 achieve highly efficient self-separative molecule extraction†
Imprinting is a biological process where a young animal acquires several of its behavioural characteristics from its parent and then follows them around and is called filial imprinting. However, imprinting can implicitly be inside the materials that possess a suitable affinity to integrate themselves with the surrounding liquid environment. In this research, an example of imprinting in molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanosheets was demonstrated. The as-prepared MoS2 containing a polar edge and low-polar plane faces on its flower-like morphology give it an imprinting ability to adhere to water or n-hexane. Therefore, imprinted MoS2 tends to retain the phase of the imprinting solvent, which is called solvent identification. More interestingly, imprinted MoS2 can in addition fulfill a highly efficient heterophasic extraction of rhodamine B (RhB) from water to n-hexane or lauric acid from n-hexane to water in seconds. At the same time, imprinted MoS2 solvent identification exhibits rapid self-separation after shaking, which avoids tedious centrifugation and filtration in a separation-purification process and makes it more convenient.