Simple and Green Fabrication of a Superhydrophobic Surface by One-Step Immersion for Continuous Oil/Water Separation

Jingfang Zhu, Bin Liu, Longyang Li, Zhixiang Zeng*, Wenjie Zhao, Gang Wang, Xiaoyan Guan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, stainless steel meshes with superhydrophobic and superoleophilic surfaces were fabricated by rapid and simple one-step immersion in a solution containing hydrochloric acid and stearic acid. The apparent contact angles were tested by a video contact angle measurement system (CA). Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were conducted to characterize the surface topographies and chemical compositions. The SEM results showed that mesh surfaces were covered by ferric stearate (Fe[CH3(CH2)16COO]2) with low surface energy. The CA test results showed that the mesh had a maximum apparent contact angle of 160 ± 1.0° and a sliding angle of less than 5.0° for the water droplet, whereas the apparent contact angle for the oil droplet was zero. Ultrasound oscillation and exposure tests at atmospheric conditions and immersion tests in 3.5 wt % NaCl aqueous solution were conducted to confirm the mesh with excellent superhydrophobic and superoleophilic properties. On the basis of the superhydrophobic mesh, a miniature separation device pump was designed to collect pure oil from the oil/water mixture. It showed that the device was easier and convenient. The techniques and materials presented in this work are promising for application to wastewater and oil spill treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5617-5623
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number28
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2016

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