Modulation of solid surface with desirable under-liquid wettability based on molecular hydrophilic-lipophilic balance

Yang Wang, Qifei Wang, Baixian Wang, Ye Tian, Jiancheng Di, Zuankai Wang, Lei Jiang, Jihong Yu

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7 Citations (Scopus)


There has been great interest in the fabrication of solid surfaces with desirable under-liquid wettability, and especially under-liquid dual-lyophobicity, because of their potential for widespread use. However, there remains the lack of a general principle to modulate the under-liquid wettability in terms of surface energy (SE). Herein, we found that the relative proportion between the polar and dispersive components in SE that reflects the competition between hydrophilicity and lipophilicity governs the under-liquid wettability of the solid surface. For the first time, we introduced hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) calculated solely based on the amount and type of hydrophilic and lipophilic fragments in surface molecules to rapidly predict the under-liquid wettability of a solid surface, thereby guiding the fabrication of solid surfaces with desirable under-liquid wettability. Accordingly, the under-liquid dual superlyophobic surfaces in a nonpolar oil-water-solid system were fabricated by grafting molecules with appropriate HLB values (e.g., 6.341-7.673 in a cyclohexane-water-solid system) onto porous nanofibrous membranes, which were able to achieve continuous separation of oil-water mixtures. This work provides reasonable guidance for the fabrication of solid surfaces with targeted under-liquid wettability, which may lead to advanced applications in oil-water-solid systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6136-6142
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Science
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

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