Heterogeneous wettability and radiative cooling for efficient deliquescent sorbents-based atmospheric water harvesting

Elsevier, Cell Reports Physical Science, Volume 3, 18 May 2022
Wang Y., Gao S., Zhong H., Zhang B., Cui M., Jiang M. et al.

Atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) is an emerging approach to solve the worldwide water crisis. Metal-organic frameworks and hydrogels have been extensively explored as sorbents for AWH; however, they suffer from relatively low water sorption capacity in arid conditions, a feature innately owned by a common material: deliquescent sorbents. Deliquescent sorbents are, however, limited by inevitable water leakage and restricted capacity. Here, we develop an efficient AWH approach that achieves an excellent water harvesting capacity of 2.62 g/g even in arid conditions by designing devices consisting of a superhydrophilic inside matrix loaded with deliquescent sorbents for efficient water adsorption, superhydrophobic and elastic fibrous skin for adaptative expansion, and water leakage prevention. The fibrous skin also exhibits a preferred radiative cooling effect, extending effective humidity and sorption capacity. The all-in-one design that combines heterogeneous wettability, radiative cooling, and elasticity-induced adaptivity opens a new route for addressing water challenges in a wide range of working conditions.