Bio-inspired multifunctional metallic foams through the fusion of different biological solutions
Nature is a school for scientists and engineers. Inherent multiscale structures of biological materials exhibit multifunctional integration. In nature, the lotus, the water strider, and the flying bird evolved different and optimized biological solutions to survive. In this contribution, inspired by the optimized solutions from the lotus leaf with superhydrophobic self-cleaning, the water strider leg with durable and robust superhydrophobicity, and the lightweight bird bone with hollow structures, multifunctional metallic foams with multiscale structures are fabricated, demonstrating low adhesive superhydrophobic self-cleaning, striking loading capacity, and superior repellency towards different corrosive solutions. This approach provides an effective avenue to the development of water strider robots and other aquatic smart devices floating on water. Furthermore, the resultant multifunctional metallic foam can be used to construct an oil/water separation apparatus, exhibiting a high separation efficiency and long-term repeatability. The presented approach should provide a promising solution for the design and construction of other multifunctional metallic foams in a large scale for practical applications in the petro-chemical field. Optimized biological solutions continue to inspire and to provide design idea for the construction of multiscale structures with multifunctional integration.