Y. Wang, L. Zhang, J. Wu, M.N. Hedhili, P. Wang
Journal of Materials Chemistry A, volume 3, issue 37, pp. 18963-18969, (2015)
Fog water collection represents a meaningful effort in places where
regular water sources, including surface water and ground water, are
scarce. Inspired by the amazing fog water collection capability of the Stenocara
beetles in the Namib Desert and based on the recent work in biomimetic
water collection, this work reports a facile, easy-to-operate, and
low-cost method for the fabrication of a hydrophilic–superhydrophobic
patterned hybrid surface towards highly efficient fog water collection.
The essence of the method is incorporating a (super)hydrophobically
modified metal-based gauze onto the surface of a hydrophilic polystyrene
(PS) flat sheet by a simple lab oven-based thermal pressing procedure.
The produced hybrid patterned surfaces consisted of PS patches sitting
within the holes of the metal gauzes. The method allows for easy control
over the pattern’s dimensions (e.g., patch size) by varying
the gauze mesh size and the thermal pressing temperature, which is then
translated into the easy optimization of the ultimate fog water
collection efficiency. Given the low-cost and wide availability of both
PS and the metal gauze, this method has great potential for scaling-up.
The results showed that the hydrophilic–superhydrophobic patterned
hybrid surfaces with a similar pattern size to the Stenocara
beetles's back pattern produced a significantly higher fog collection
efficiency than the uniformly (super)hydrophilic or (super)hydrophobic
surfaces. This work contributes to the general effort in fabricating
mixed wettability patterned surfaces for atmospheric water collection
for direct use.