Superhydrophobic and superoleophobic nanocellulose aerogel as bioinspired cargo carriers on water and oil

H. Jin, M. Kettunen, A. Laiho, H. Pynnonen, J. Paltakari, A. Marmur, O. Ikkala*, R. H A Ras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


We demonstrate that superhydrophobic and superoleophobic nanocellulose aerogels, consisting of fibrillar networks and aggregates with structures at different length scales, support considerable load on a water surface and also on oils as inspired by floatation of insects on water due to their superhydrophobic legs. The aerogel is capable of supporting a weight nearly 3 orders of magnitude larger than the weight of the aerogel itself. The load support is achieved by surface tension acting at different length scales: at the macroscopic scale along the perimeter of the carrier, and at the microscopic scale along the cellulose nanofibers by preventing soaking of the aerogel thus ensuring buoyancy. Furthermore, we demonstrate high-adhesive pinning of water and oil droplets, gas permeability, light reflection at the plastron in water and oil, and viscous drag reduction of the fluorinated aerogel in contact with oil. We foresee applications including buoyant, gas permeable, dirt-repellent coatings for miniature sensors and other devices floating on water and oil.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICCM 2011 - The 18th International Conference on Composites Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Composite Materials - Jeju, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 21 Aug 201126 Aug 2011
Conference number: 18


ConferenceInternational Conference on Composite Materials
Abbreviated titleICCM
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


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