Tailoring interfaces for atmospheric water harvesting: Fundamentals and applications

Shouwei Gao, Yang Wang, Chao Zhang, Mengnan Jiang, Steven Wang, Zuankai Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Water is the cradle of life, but the scarcity of freshwater imposed by the ever-increasing population and pollution threatens human survival. Harvesting fresh water from the ubiquitous yet untapped atmospheric water from the air, such as fog and vapor, presents a facile and powerful strategy to resolve the emerging water crisis. Over the past decades, diverse atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) technologies such as fog harvesting, dew collecting, and sorbent-based vapor capture have been largely exploited, all of which rely on efficient regulation of water, heat, and energy transfer at the solid/liquid/air three-phase interface for boosting freshwater production. Therefore, fully understanding such sophisticated interfacial interactions will help to fundamentally improve the efficiency of AWH. In this review, we revisit the emerging progress of AWH technologies from the view of interfacial interactions among solid, liquid, and air. We then discuss how interfacial interactions determine AWH performance by surface chemistry, topology structure, and optical, thermal, and electric properties. Finally, we highlight many AWH-enabling high-value-added practical applications, including energy generation, thermal and humidity management, and agriculture, as well as emphasize the unsolved contradictory challenges in the surface design of future AWH devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2182-2205
Number of pages24
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2023


  • hygroscopic materials
  • atmospheric water harvesting
  • surface
  • interface
  • multi-phase interaction


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