A novel photothermal, self-healing and anti-reflection water evaporation membrane†
For the solar water evaporation system, there are no reports on the self-healing support, which is crucial for the sustainable use of solar evaporation membrane. In this work, a self-healing hydrogel is prepared via free radical copolymerization with covalent cross-linking and coordination cross-linking and is used as a photothermal water evaporation support. The photothermal material is then introduced into the hydrogel by physically doping acetylene carbon black. At the same time, inverted micro-pyramids are fabricated on the surface of the hydrogel by soft imprint to increase the utilization efficiency of incident light. The water evaporation rate of the composite membrane can reach 1.58 kg m−2 h−1, and the breaking elongation is 1580%. It can self-heal after it is completely broken, and can still be stretched 3 times its original length. The design of this self-healing photothermal membrane will provide a new idea for its application in a harsh outdoor environment.