Three-Dimensional Conformal Porous Microstructural Engineering of Textile Substrates with Customized Functions of Brick Materials and Inherent Advantages of Textiles

Xiaoyang Guan, Jianliang Gong, Bingang Xu

    Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    The conventional use of textiles as substrates for the incorporation of brick materials (i.e., polymers and nanomaterials) is ubiquitously developed with primary purposes for introducing desired technical/functional performance rather than maintaining the aesthetic/decorative characteristics and inherent advantages (i.e., flexibility and permeability) of textiles. Such kinds of modified textiles with typical solid coating layers, however, are becoming more and more unsuitable for some emerging applications, such as smart wearable devices. Herein, we presented a brand-new kind of modified textiles with brick materials formed contouring to the nonplanar fiber surfaces of a fabric substrate as a three-dimensional (3D) conformal layer of porous microstructures by a unique breath figure self-assembling strategy of employing water microdroplet arrays as soft dynamic templates that can be controlled, formed, and removed spontaneously. In this paper, the main influential factors such as solution concentration, relative humidity, temperature, brick materials, and fabric substrates were studied systematically to control and adjust the formation of 3D conformal porous microstructures (3CPMs). The obtained 3D conformal porous microstructured textiles (3CPMTs) hierarchically combining the inherent texture features of the porous network of textiles and honeycomb porous microstructures templated from water microdroplet arrays not only possess new functions of introduced brick materials (such as triboelectric performance and wettability) and maintain the excellent inherent advantages (such as flexibility, air permeability, water vapor permeability, and unique texture features) of fabrics but also enhance the tensile strength and thermal insulation performance of substrates. Taking advantage of the introduced functions, they can be either used for conventional applications (i.e., oil/water separation) with enhanced performance or explored for new applications (i.e., self-powered sensors with textile breathability and comfort) with truly wearable potential. We believe this efficient, robust, and versatile strategy opens up numerous possibilities for designing and developing a broad range of advanced multifunctional textiles upon end uses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17967-17978
    Number of pages12
    JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


    • 3D conformal porous microstructure
    • breath figure
    • modified fabric
    • oil-water separation
    • self-powered sensor

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Materials Science


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