Temperature-tunable wettability on a bioinspired structured graphene surface for fog collection and unidirectional transport†
We designed a type of smart bioinspired wettable surface with tip-shaped patterns by combining polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and graphene (PDMS/G). The laser etched porous graphene surface can produce an obvious wettability change between 200 °C and 0 °C due to a change in aperture size and chemical components. We demonstrate that the cooperation of the geometrical structure and the controllable wettability play an important role in water gathering, and surfaces with tip-shaped wettability patterns can quickly drive tiny water droplets toward more wettable regions, so making a great contribution to the improvement of water collection efficiency. In addition, due to the effective cooperation between super hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions of the special tip-shaped pattern, unidirectional water transport on the 200 °C heated PDMS/G surface can be realized. This study offers a novel insight into the design of temperature-tunable materials with interphase wettability that may enhance fog collection efficiency in engineering liquid harvesting equipment, and realize unidirectional liquid transport, which could potentially be applied to the realms of microfluidics, medical devices and condenser design.