We first report here mussel-inspired, hybrid coatings formed in a facile manner via simultaneous polymerization of mussel-inspired dopamine and hydrolysis of commercial tetraethoxysilane in a single-step process. The hybrid coatings can firmly adhered on hydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) substrate, and the hydrophilicity of the coating can be tuned by adjusting silane concentration. The reason for the changed hydrophilicity of the coating is disclosed by a series of characterization, and was applied to rationally design optimized hybrid coatings that transform commercial PVDF microfiltration (MF) membrane hydrophobicity into high hydrophilicity with excellent water permeability and underwater superoleophobicity for oil-in-water emulsion separation. The PVDF MF membrane decorated with optimized coatings has ultrahigh water flux (8606 L m-2 h-1 only under 0.9 bar, which is 34 times higher than that of pristine membrane), highly efficient oil-in-water emulsion separation ability at atmospheric pressure (filtrate flux of 140 L m-2 h-1) and excellent antifouling performance. More importantly, these membranes are extremely stable as underwater superoleophobicity are maintained, even after rigorous washings or cryogenic bending, disclosing outstanding stability. The simplicity and versatility of this novel mussel-inspired one-step strategy may bridge the material-induced technology gap between academia and industry, which makes it promising for eco-friendly applications.
- high hydrophilicity
- hybrid coating
- long-term stability
- oil-in-water emulsion separation
- underwater superoleophobicity
- coating materials