Synthesis of ‘reactive’ and covalent polymeric multilayer coatings with durable superoleophobic and superoleophilic properties under water†
Bioinspired underwater super-oil-wettability (superoleophilic/superoleophobic) properties are emerging as a potential avenue for developing smart materials for addressing issues related to healthcare, environment, energy, etc. However, the inherent poor durability of the materials that are mostly developed using polymeric hydrogel, metal oxide coatings and electrostatic multilayers often challenges the application of these wettability properties in practical scenarios. Here, ‘amine-reactive’ polymeric multilayers of nano-complex were developed to fabricate ‘internal’ underwater superoleophobic/superoleophilic coatings with impeccable physical/chemical durability. This allows the super-wetting properties to exist beyond the surface of the material and remain intact even after severe physical damage including erosion of the material and continuous exposure to an artificial-marine environment for more than 80 days. Moreover, this current design allowed for independent revalidation of some key hypotheses with direct experimental demonstrations, and provided a basis to develop highly durable super-oil-wettability properties under water. It is believed that this contemporary study will make a worthwhile contribution on developing multifunctional materials for widespread practical applications by exploiting these super-oil-wetting properties.