U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Bioinspired multifunctional polymer–nanoparticle–surfactant complex nanocomposite surfaces for antibacterial oil–water separation

A.W. Ritchie, H.J. Cox, S.N. Barrientos-Palomo, G.J. Sharples, J.P.S. Badyal
Colloids and surfaces 2019 v.560 pp. 352-359
Escherichia coli, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, coatings, colloids, contact angle, drinking water, durability, hardness, hydrophilicity, nanocomposites, nanoparticles, oils, pollution
Bioinspired polymer–nanoparticle–fluorosurfactant complex composite coatings are shown to display fast-switching oleophobic–hydrophilic properties. The large switching parameters (difference between the equilibrium oil and water static contact angles) are attributed to nanoparticle enhanced surface roughening (leading to improvement in hydrophilicity and oleophobicity for optimum nanoparticle loadings). Nanoparticle incorporation also increases hardness of the coatings (durability). Porous substrates coated with these polymer–nanoparticle–fluorosurfactant complex composite coatings are found to readily separate oil–water mixtures under both static and continuous flow as well as displaying antibacterial surface properties against Escherichia coli (Gram-negative bacteria) and Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive bacteria). A key advantage of this approach for coating substrates is its single-step simplicity. Potential applications include provision of safe drinking water, environmental pollution clean-up, and anti-fogging.