Underwater Superoleophobic Membrane with Enhanced Oil–Water Separation, Antimicrobial, and Antifouling Activities

Yanhua Zhao, Mei Zhang, Zuankai Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Despite extensive progress in the development of robust artificial membranes addressing the oil pollution issue, the current solutions are susceptible to limited functionalities, such as inability to separate small emulsions and poor resistance to notorious biological contaminants and fouling as a result of the complexity in their operating environments. Here a facile one-step approach is reported to engineer a novel composite membrane that spans a wide range of functional properties. By tailoring the surface structure, chemical composition, and harnessing the synergistic cooperation of nonadhesion ability of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and silver nanoparticles embedded in the PEG matrixes (PEG-Ag NPs membrane), the designed membrane allows for high separation efficiency (>99.9%) in a wide range of operating conditions, as well as enhanced antimicrobial and antimarine fouling activities. It is anticipated that the facile fabrication and multifunctional performances will bring this membrane a step closer to practical applications including the clean-up of oil spills, waste water treatment, fuel purification, and the separation of commercially relevant emulsions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1500664
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • antimarine biofouling
  • antimicrobial membranes
  • oil–water separation
  • underwater superoleophobic membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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