A strong, underwater superoleophobic PNIPAM–clay nanocomposite hydrogel

Chao Teng, Dan Xie, Jianfeng Wang, Ying Zhu, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Due to a three-dimensional network structure filled with abundant water, a hydrogel is an ideal candidate for an underwater superoleophobic material, which has many promising applications in the fields of anti-bioadhesion, antifouling coating, oil/water separation, metal cleaning, and small oil-droplet manipulation. However, its practical applications are greatly limited by its poor mechanical properties. In this study, we prepared a strong underwater superoleophobic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-clay nanocomposite hydrogel through a simple filtration method. The nanocomposite hydrogel has a large number of mountain-like protrusions on its filtered surface and a layered structure in the interior. It is demonstrated that the rough surface structure improves its oil-repellent capability, leading to superoleophobicity with self-cleaning properties, while the interior layered structure endows the hydrogel with excellent tensile modulus and strength, superior to those of reported underwater superoleophobic hydrogels. It is demonstrated that the strong, underwater superoleophobic hydrogel is further developed as an oil/water separation film. We believe that this strong nanocomposite hydrogel will promote the development of underwater superoleophobic hydrogels toward practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12884-12888
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

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