Infused-liquid-switchable porous nanofibrous membranes for multiphase liquid separation

Yang Wang, Jiancheng Di, Li Wang, Xu Li, Ning Wang, Baixian Wang, Ye Tian, Lei Jiang, Jihong Yu

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123 Citations (Scopus)


Materials with selective wettabilities are widely used for effective liquid separation in environmental protection and the chemical industry. Current liquid separation strategies are primarily based on covalent modification to control the membranes' surface energy, or are based on gating mechanisms to accurately tune the gating threshold of the transport substance. Herein, we demonstrate a simple and universal polarity-based protocol to regulate the wetting behavior of superamphiphilic porous nanofibrous membranes by infusing a high polar component of surface energy liquid into the membranes, forming a relatively stable liquid-infusion-interface to repel the immiscible low polar component of surface energy liquid. Even immiscible liquids with a surface energy difference as small as 2 mJ m-2, or emulsions stabilized by emulsifiers can be effectively separated. Furthermore, the infused liquid can be substituted by another immiscible liquid with a higher polar component of surface energy, affording successive separation of multiphase liquids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number575
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

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