Mussel-Inspired Hydrophobic Coatings for Water-Repellent Textiles and Oil Removal

B. García, J. Saiz-Poseu; R. Gras-Charles; J. Hernando; R. Alibes; F. Novio; J. Sedo; F. Busque; D. Ruiz-Molina

ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 6, 17616-17625, (2014)
DOI: 10.1021/am503733d

Abstract: A series of catechol derivatives with a different number of linear alkyl chain substituents, and different length, have been shown to polymerize in the presence of aqueous ammonia and air, yielding hydrophobic coatings that present the ability to provide robust and efficient water repellency on weaved textiles, including hydrophilic cotton. The polymerization strategy presented exemplifies an alternative route to established melanin- and polydopamine-like functional coatings, affording designs in which all catechol (adhesive) moieties support specific functional side chains for maximization of the desired (hydrophobic) functionality. The coatings obtained proved effective in the transformation of polyester and cotton weaves, as well as filter paper, into reusable water-repellent, oil-absorbent materials capable of retaining roughly double their weight in model compounds (n-tetradecane and olive oil), as well as of separating water/oil mixtures by simple filtration.