, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 3529–3541 | Cite as

Robust and self-healing superhydrophobic cotton fabric via UV induced click chemistry for oil/water separation

  • Gaoyang Liu
  • Wei Wang
  • Dan YuEmail author
Original Research


It is often difficult to guarantee the service life of fabric-based superhydrophobic materials that possess self-cleaning and oil–water separation capabilities. To extend practical use, a robust, self-healing superhydrophobic and superoleophilic cotton fabric was successfully prepared by simple impregnation and UV irradiation. The obtained superhydrophobic cotton had a contact angle of 152.4°. The as-prepared fabric showed excellent stability and remained superhydrophobic when soaked in corrosive liquids. Moreover, the prepared fabric can be used as an absorbent to separate the small amount of oil from the oil–water mixture and could be an oil/water separator by a simple device with the separation efficiency over 96%. More importantly, after 200 cycles of severe abrasion, the as-prepared fabric can retain superhydrophobicity and exhibit excellent self-healing property by simple heating treatment. With high oil–water separation efficiency and strong stability, the fabric prepared by this environmental-friendly method may contribute to the development of durable superhydrophobic materials.

Graphical abstract


Self-healing Superhydrophobic Cotton fabric UV induced click chemistry Robust Oil/water separation 



The research was supported by National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (No. 51403032) and Putian Science and Technology Bureau (CN) (2018G1001).

Supplementary material

10570_2019_2289_MOESM1_ESM.docx (397 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 397 kb)


  1. Bormashenko E (2015) Progress in understanding wetting transitions on rough surfaces. Adv Colloid Interface Sci 222:92–103. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Celia E, Darmanin T, de Givenchy ET, Amigoni S, Guittard F (2013) Recent advances in designing superhydrophobic surfaces. J Colloid Interface Sci 402:1–18. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen S, Li X, Li Y, Sun J (2015) Intumescent flame-retardant and self-healing superhydrophobic coatings on cotton fabric. ACS Nano 9:4070–4076. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Deng B et al (2010) Laundering durability of superhydrophobic cotton fabric. Adv Mater 22:5473–5477. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Dong Z-Q, Ma X-H, Xu Z-L, Gu Z-Y (2015) Superhydrophobic modification of PVDF-SiO2 electrospun nanofiber membranes for vacuum membrane distillation. RSC Adv 5:67962–67970. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Du C, Wang J, Chen Z, Chen D (2014) Durable superhydrophobic and superoleophilic filter paper for oil–water separation prepared by a colloidal deposition method. Appl Surf Sci 313:304–310. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ellinas K, Tserepi A, Gogolides E (2017) Durable superhydrophobic and superamphiphobic polymeric surfaces and their applications: a review. Adv Colloid Interface Sci 250:132–157. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. He J, Zhao H, Li X, Su D, Zhang F, Ji H, Liu R (2018) Superelastic and superhydrophobic bacterial cellulose/silica aerogels with hierarchical cellular structure for oil absorption and recovery. J Hazard Mater 346:199–207. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Huang JY et al (2015) Robust superhydrophobic TiO2@fabrics for UV shielding, self-cleaning and oil–water separation. J Mater Chem A 3:2825–2832. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Huang Z, Gurney RS, Wang T, Liu D (2018) Environmentally durable superhydrophobic surfaces with robust photocatalytic self-cleaning and self-healing properties prepared via versatile film deposition methods. J Colloid Interface Sci 527:107–116. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Jackson JBC et al (1989) Ecological effects of a major oil-spill on panamanian coastal marine communities. Science 243:37–44. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Jiang L, Zhao Y, Zhai J (2004) A lotus-leaf-like superhydrophobic surface: a porous microsphere/nanofiber composite film prepared by electrohydrodynamics. Angew Chem Int Ed 43:4338–4341. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jiang L, Donghua Univ SKLMCF, Polymer M (2005) Super-hydrophobic surfaces: from natural to artificial. In: Proceedings of 2005 international conference on advanced fibers and polymer materialsGoogle Scholar
  14. Jiang B, Zhang H, Sun Y, Zhang L, Xu L, Hao L, Yang H (2017) Covalent layer-by-layer grafting (LBLG) functionalized superhydrophobic stainless steel mesh for oil/water separation. Appl Surf Sci 406:150–160. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kim S, Hwang HJ, Cho H, Choi D, Hwang W (2018) Repeatable replication method with liquid infiltration to fabricate robust, flexible, and transparent, anti-reflective superhydrophobic polymer films on a large scale. Chem Eng J 350:225–232. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li J, Xu C, Zhang Y, Wang R, Zha F, She H (2016a) Robust superhydrophobic attapulgite coated polyurethane sponge for efficient immiscible oil/water mixture and emulsion separation. J Mater Chem A 4:15546–15553. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li J, Yan L, Tang X, Feng H, Hu D, Zha F (2016b) Robust superhydrophobic fabric bag filled with polyurethane sponges used for vacuum-assisted continuous and ultrafast absorption and collection of oils from water. Adv Mater Interfaces. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Li Y, Li Q, Zhang C, Cai P, Bai N, Xu X (2017) Intelligent self-healing superhydrophobic modification of cotton fabrics via surface-initiated ARGET ATRP of styrene. Chem Eng J 323:134–142. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Luo Y, Jiang S, Xiao Q, Chen C, Li B (2018) Highly reusable and superhydrophobic spongy graphene aerogels for efficient oil/water separation. Sci Rep. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Qiu W, Jia W, Xu D, Liu B, Shen L (2016) Progress in fabrication of superhydrophobic materials and their application in oil–water separation. J Mater Sci Eng 34:508–512Google Scholar
  21. Teisala H, Tuominen M, Kuusipalo J (2014) superhydrophobic coatings on cellulose-based materials: fabrication, properties, and applications. Adv Mater Interfaces. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Varjani SJ (2017) Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. Bioresour Technol 223:277–286. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Wang P, Sun B, Liang Y, Han H, Fan X, Wang W, Yang Z (2018) A stretchable and super-robust graphene superhydrophobic composite for electromechanical sensor application. J Mater Chem A 6:10404–10410. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wen N, Miao X, Yang X, Long M, Deng W, Zhou Q, Deng W (2018) An alternative fabrication of under oil superhydrophobic or underwater superoleophobic stainless steel meshes for oil–water separation: originating from one-step vapor deposition of polydimethylsiloxane. Sep Purif Technol 204:116–126. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wu J et al (2013) Self-healing of the superhydrophobicity by ironing for the abrasion durable superhydrophobic cotton fabrics. Sci Rep. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Wu L, Li L, Li B, Zhang J, Wang A (2015) Magnetic, durable, and superhydrophobic polyurethane@Fe3O4@SiO2@fluoropolymer sponges for selective oil absorption and oil/water separation. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7:4936–4946. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Wu M, Ma B, Pan T, Chen S, Sun J (2016) Silver-nanoparticle-colored cotton fabrics with tunable colors and durable antibacterial and self-healing superhydrophobic properties. Adv Func Mater 26:569–576. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wu H et al (2018) Robust superhydrophobic and superoleophilic filter paper via atom transfer radical polymerization for oil/water separation. Carbohyd Polym 181:419–425. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Xue C-H, Guo X-J, Zhang M-M, Ma J-Z, Jia S-T (2015a) Fabrication of robust superhydrophobic surfaces by modification of chemically roughened fibers via thiol-ene click chemistry. J Mater Chem A 3(43):21797–21804. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Xue JL, Yu Y, Bai Y, Wang LP, Wu YN (2015b) Marine oil-degrading microorganisms and biodegradation process of petroleum hydrocarbon in marine environments: a review. Curr Microbiol 71:220–228. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Yan K-K, Jiao L, Lin S, Ji X, Lu Y, Zhang L (2018) Superhydrophobic electrospun nanofiber membrane coated by carbon nanotubes network for membrane distillation. Desalination 437:26–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yim UH, Kim M, Ha SY, Kim S, Shim WJ (2012) Oil spill environmental forensics: the Hebei Spirit oil spill case. Environ Sci Technol 46:6431–6437. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Yu Y, Chen H, Liu Y, Craig V, Li LH, Chen Y (2014) Superhydrophobic and superoleophilic boron nitride nanotube-coated stainless steel meshes for oil and water separation. Adv Mater Interfaces. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhang L, Kwok H, Li X, Yu H-Z (2017a) Superhydrophobic substrates from off-the-shelf laboratory filter paper: simplified preparation, patterning, and assay application. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 9:39728–39735. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhang L, Li H, Lai X, Su X, Liang T, Zeng X (2017b) Thiolated graphene-based superhydrophobic sponges for oil–water separation. Chem Eng J 316:736–743. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhou C, Chen Z, Yang H, Hou K, Zeng X, Zheng Y, Cheng J (2017) Nature-inspired strategy toward superhydrophobic fabrics for versatile oil/water separation. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 9:9184–9194. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Science and Technology of Eco-Textiles, Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and BiotechnologyDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations