Femtosecond laser induced robust periodic nanoripple structured mesh for highly efficient oil–water separation†
Marine oil spills have induced severe water pollution and threatened sea ecosystems, which also result in a loss of energy resources. To deal with this problem, much work has been done for using superhydrophobic or superhydrophilic mesh for oil–water separation. Nevertheless, there are still great challenges in the rapid fabrication of extremely durable mesh with superwetting properties, particularly considering the highly efficient oil–water separation. In this study, we present a simple, efficient method to fabricate superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic stainless steel mesh surfaces with one-step femtosecond laser induced periodic nanoripple structures. The as-prepared mesh shows high separation efficiency, which is higher than 99% for various oil–water mixtures. More importantly, the wettability and the separation efficiency of the fabricated mesh show no obvious change after the abrasion tests and corrosion tests, indicating that the as-prepared samples possess robust stability. This study provides an efficient route for constructing durable and highly efficient separation mesh, which can be applied in the cleanup of large-scale oil spills in the near future.