Mussel-Inspired Polyglycerol Coatings with Controlled Wettability: From Superhydrophilic to Superhydrophobic Surface Coatings


Facile approaches to substrate-independent surface coatings with special wettability properties, such as superhydrophobicity, superhydrophilicity, and superamphiphobicity, have been limited. To address this problem, we combined two separate biomimetic concepts of mussel-inspired adhesion and highly hierarchical lotuslike surface structures to develop a universal fabrication method for various superwetting systems on any kind of material. In this feature article, we summarize our work on mussel-inspired polyglycerol (MI-dPG) and its application in the area of superwetting interfacial materials. MI-dPG mimics not only the functional groups of mfp-5 but also their molecular weight and molecular structure, which results in strong and rapid adhesion to the substrate. Furthermore, the MI-dPG coating process provides precise roughness control. The construction of highly hierarchical and superhydrophilic structures was achieved either directly by pH-controlled aggregation or in combination with nanoparticles. Subsequent postmodification of these highly hierarchical structures with different fluorinated or nonfluorinated hydrophobic molecules yielded a surface with superhydrophobic and even superamphiphobic properties.
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