pp 1–13 | Cite as

Luminescent and hydrophobic textile coatings with recyclability and self-healing capability against both chemical and physical damage

  • Yue Ma
  • Yuting Zou
  • Zhen Zhang
  • Jiaojiao Fang
  • Wenting Liu
  • Yaru Ni
  • Liang FangEmail author
  • Chunhua LuEmail author
  • Zhongzi Xu
Original Research


Luminescent and hydrophobic textile coatings with recyclability and self-healing capability against both chemical and physical damage were prepared, which present multi-functions and long service life cycles. The applications in self-cleaning, oil-water separation, and anti-counterfeit technology were successfully demonstrated. The coatings can be easily created onto different fabrics including cotton cloth, filter paper, and chemical fabric. A rare earth organic complex of SmTTAPhen(NO3)3 (STPN), silane modified epoxy oligomer, and bis(4-maleimidophenyl)methane (BMI) provide luminescence, hydrophobicity, as well as recyclability and self-healing capability, respectively, to the coatings. More specifically, high transparency but high luminescence were achieved due to the good dispersion of STPN in coating matrix, resulting from the hydron bonding between nitrate groups from STPN and hydroxyl groups from epoxy oligomer. Silane modification facilitated the accumulation of Si–O bonds on the free-surface of the coating, which offers hydrophobic features. The introduction of reversible Diels-Alder reactions provided the self-healing capability and recyclability. Upon heating using an electronic iron, the hydrophobicity can be recovered from physical or chemical damage to the coatings. Besides, the coatings on abandoned fabrics can be recycled and reused to a new bare fabric. We believe that the concept and coating materials are useful to further expand the areas of smart and multi-functional coatings with long service life.

Graphic abstract


Fabric coating Self-healing Diels–alder reaction Luminescence Hydrophobicity 



This work was sponsored by Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20191364) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (51503098). Financial support from Priority Academic Program Development of the Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD) is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

Video 1

The physical and chemical damage on a coated fabric and the self-healing procedure using an electronic iron (MP4 7266 kb)

10570_2019_2819_MOESM2_ESM.mp4 (13.9 mb)
Video 2 The recycling process of coated fabrics in DMF (MP4 14234 kb)


  1. Blaiszik BJ, Sottos NR, White SR (2008) Nanocapsules for self-healing materials. Compos Sci Technol 68(3):978–986. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen S, Li X, Li Y, Sun J (2015) Intumescent flame-retardant and self-healing superhydrophobic coatings on cotton fabric. ACS Nano 9(4):4070–4076. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen D, Chen F, Zhang H, Yin X, Zhou Y (2016a) Preparation and characterization of novel hydro-phobic cellulose fabrics with polyvinylsilsesquioxane functional coatings. Cellulose 23(1):941–953. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen J, Fang L, Xu Z, Lu C (2016b) Self-healing epoxy coatings curing with varied ratios of diamine and monoamine triggered via near-infrared light. Prog Org Coat 101:543–552. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen K, Gou W, Xu L, Zhao Y (2018) Low cost and facile preparation of robust multifunctional coatings with self-healing superhydrophobicity and high conductivity. Compos Sci Technol 56:177–185. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cho EC, Chang-Jian CW, Chen HC, Chuang KS, Zheng JH, Hsiao YS, Lee KC, Huang JH (2017) Robust multifunctional superhydrophobic coatings with enhanced water/oil separation, self-cleaning, anti-corrosion, and anti-biological adhesion. Chem Eng J 314:347–357. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deng B, Cai R, Yu Y, Jiang H, Wang C, Li J, Li L, Yu M, Li J, Xie L (2010) Laundering durability of superhydrophobic cotton fabric. Adv Mater 22(48):5473–5477. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Erdman A, Kulpinski P, Grzyb T, Lis S (2016) Preparation of multicolor luminescent cellulose fibers containing lanthanide doped inorganic nanomaterials. J Lumin 169:520–527. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Faghihnejad A, Feldman KE, Yu J, Tirrell MV, Israelachvili JN, Hawker CJ, Kramer EJ, Zeng H (2014) Adhesion and surface interactions of a self-healing polymer with multiple hydrogen-bonding groups. Adv Funct Mater 24(16):2322–2333. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fang L, Chen J, Zou Y, Xu Z, Lu C (2017) Thermally-induced self-healing behaviors and properties of four epoxy coatings with different network architectures. Polymers 9(8):333. CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Gu S, Yang L, Huang W, Bu Y, Chen D, Huang J, Zhou Y, Xu W (2017) Fabrication of hydropho-bic cotton fabrics inspired by polyphenol chemistry. Cellulose 24(6):2635–2646. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Guo X, Zhang K, Zhang H, Ge M (2018) Working conditions on the afterglow characteristics of rare-earth luminous fibers. Fiber Polym 19(3):531–537. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hansen CJ, Wu W, Toohey KS, Sottos NR, White SR, Lewis JA (2009) Self-healing materials with interpenetrating microvascular networks. Adv Mater 21(41):4143–4147. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hsieh HC, Chen JY, Lee WY, Bera D, Chen WC (2018) Stretchable fluorescent polyfluorene/acrylonitrile butadiene rubber blend electrospun fibers through physical interaction and geometrical confinement. Macromol Rapid Commun 39(5):1700616. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ishida K, Yoshie N (2008) Synthesis of readily recyclable biobased plastics by Diels–Alder reaction. Macromol Biosci 8(10):916–922. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Khattab TA, Rehan M, Hamdy Y, Shaheen TI (2018) Facile development of photoluminescent textile fabric via spray coating of Eu(II)-doped strontium aluminate. Ind Eng Chem Res 57(34):11483–11492. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ki HY, Kim JH, Kwon SC, Jeong SH (2007) A study on multifunctional wool textiles treated with nano-sized silver. J Mater Sci 42(19):8020–8024. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kulpinski P, Erdman A, Grzyb T, Lis S (2016) Luminescent cellulose fibers modified with cerium fluoride doped with terbium particles. Polym Composite 37(1):153–160. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lai WJ, Cheng KC (2018) Crystallization and luminescence properties of polypropylene fiber containing rare earth aluminates and a sorbital derivative nucleating agent. Fiber Polym 19(1):22–30. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li Y, Li L, Sun J (2010) Bioinspired self-healing superhydrophobic coatings. Angew Chem Int Edit 122(35):6265–6269. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li Y, Chen S, Wu M, Sun J (2014) All spraying processes for the fabrication of robust, self-healing, superhydrophobic coatings. Adv Mater 26(20):3344–3348. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Li Y, Ge B, Men X, Zhang Z, Xue Q (2016) A facile and fast approach to mechanically stable and rapid self-healing waterproof fabrics. Compos Sci Technol 125:55–61. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liu YL, Chuo TW (2013) Self-healing polymers based on thermally reversible Diels–Alder chemistry. Polym Chem 4(7):2194–2205. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Liu Y, Xin JH, Choi CH (2012) Cotton fabrics with single-faced superhydrophobicity. Langmuir 28(50):17426–17434. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Ma M, Mao Y, Gupta M, Gleason KK, Rutledge GC (2005) Superhydrophobic fabrics produced by electrospinning and chemical vapor deposition. Macromolecules 38(23):9742–9748. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Oehlenschlaeger KK, Mueller JO, Brandt J, Hilf S, Lederer A, Wilhelm M, Graf R, Coote ML, Schmidt FG, Barner-Kowollik C (2014) Adaptable hetero Diels–Alder networks for fast self-healing under mild conditions. Adv Mater 26(21):3561–3566. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Park HJ, Kim S, Lee JH, Kim HT, Seung W, Son Y, Kim TY, Khan U, Park NM, Kim SW (2019) Self-powered motion-driven triboelectric electroluminescence textile system. ACS Appl Mater Inter 11(5):5200–5207. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pereira C, Alves C, Monteiro A, Magén C, Pereira AM, Ibarra A, Ibarra MR, Tavares PB, Araújo JP, Blanco G, Pintado JM, Carvalho AP, Pires J, Pereira MFR, Freire C (2011) Designing novel hybrid materials by one-pot co-condensation: from hydrophobic mesoporous silica nanoparticles to superamphiphobic cotton textiles. ACS Appl Mater Inter 3(7):2289–2299. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pratama PA, Peterson AM, Palmese GR (2012) Diffusion and reaction phenomena in solution-based healing of polymer coatings using the Diels–Alder reaction. Macromol Chem Phys 213(2):173–181. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pratama PA, Sharifi M, Peterson AM, Palmese GR (2013) Room temperature self-healing thermoset based on the Diels–Alder reaction. ACS Appl Mater Int 5(23):12425–12431. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Przybylak M, Maciejewski H, Dutkiewicz A (2016) Preparation of highly hydrophobic cotton fabrics by modification with bifunctional silsesquioxanes in the sol-gel process. Appl Surf Sci 387:163–174. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Qian L, Sun G (2004) Durable and regenerable antimicrobial textiles: improving efficacy and du- rability of biocidal functions. J Appl Polym Sci 91(4):2588–2593. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Qiang S, Chen K, Yin Y, Wang C (2017) Robust UV-cured superhydrophobic cotton fabric surfaces with self-healing ability. Mater Design 116:395–402. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Roy N, Bruchmann B, Lehn JM (2015) DYNAMERS: dynamic polymers as self-healing material -s. Chem Soc Rev 44(11):3786–3807. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Samadzadeh M, Boura SH, Peikari M, Kasiriha SM, Ashrafi A (2010) A review on self-healing coatings based on micro/nanocapsules. Prog Org Coat 68(3):159–164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Scheltjens G, Diaz MM, Brancart J, Van Assche G, Van Mele B (2013) A self-healing polymer network based on reversible covalent bonding. React Funct Polym 73(2):413–420. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shi Z, Wyman I, Liu G, Hu H, Zou H, Hu J (2013) Preparation of water-repellent cotton fabrics from fluorinated diblock copolymers and evaluation of their durability. Polymer 54(23):6406–6414. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Skwierczyńska M, Runowski M, Kulpiński P, Lis S (2019) Modification of cellulose fibers with inorganic luminescent nanoparticles based on lanthanide(III) ions. Carbohyd Polym 206(742–74):8. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Suryaprabha T, Sethuraman MG (2017) Fabrication of copper-based superhydrophobic self-cleaning antibacterial coating over cotton fabric. Cellulose 24(1):395–407. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Varley RJ, van der Zwaag S (2008) Towards an understanding of thermally activated self-healing of an ionomer system during ballistic penetration. Acta Mater 56(19):5737–5750. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang X, Gao W, Xu S, Xu W (2012) Luminescent fibers: in situ synthesis of silver nanoclusters on silk via ultraviolet light-induced reduction and their antibacterial activity. Chem Eng J 210:585–589. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang H, Chen L, Fang L, Li L, Fang J, Lu C, Xu Z (2018) Supramolecular hydrogel hybrids having high mechanical property, photoluminescence and light-induced shape deformation capability: design, preparation and characterization. Mater Des 160:194–202. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wang H, Fang L, Zhang Z, Epaarachchi J, Li L, Hu X, Lu C, Xu Z (2019) Light-induced rare earth organic complex/shape-memory polymer composites with high strength and luminescence based on hydrogen bonding. Compos Part A-Appl S 125:105525. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Xi P, Zhao T, Xia L, Shu D, Ma M, Cheng B (2017) Fabrication and characterization of dual-functional ultrafine composite fibers with phase-change energy storage and luminescence properties. Sci Rep 7:40390. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Xiong Z, Lin H, Zhong Y, Qin Y, Li T, Liu F (2017) Robust superhydrophilic polylactide (PLA) membranes with a TiO2 nano-particle inlaid surface for oil/water separation. J Mater Chem A 5(14):6538–6545. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Xue CH, Ji PT, Zhang P, Li YR, Jia ST (2013) Fabrication of superhydrophobic and superoleophilic textiles for oil–water separation. Appl Surf Sci 284:464–471. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Xue CH, Zhang ZD, Zhang J, Jia ST (2014) Lasting and self-healing superhydrophobic surfaces by coating of polystyrene/SiO2 nanoparticles and polydimethylsiloxane. J Mater Chem A 2(36):15001–15007. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ye J, Wang B, Xiong J, Sun R (2016) Enhanced fluorescence and structural characteristics of car-boxymethyl cellulose/Eu(III) nano-complex: influence of reaction time. Carbohyd Polym 135(5):7–63. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ye H, Zhu L, Li W, Liu H, Chen H (2017) Simple spray deposition of a water-based superhydrophobic coating with high stability for flexible applications. J Mater Chem A 5(20):9882–9890. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yetisen AK, Qu H, Manbachi A, Butt H, Dokmeci MR, Hinestroza JP, Skorobogatiy M, Khadem- hosseini A A, Yun SH (2016) Nanotechnology in Textiles. ACS Nano 10(3):3042–3068. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Yoo Y, You JB, Choi W, Im SG (2013) A stacked polymer film for robust superhydrophobic fabrics. Polym Chem 4(5):1664–1671. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yu H, Song H, Pan G, Li S, Liu Z, Bai X, Wang T, Lu S, Zhao H (2007) Preparation and luminescent properties of europium-doped yttria fibers by electrospinning. J Lumin 124(1):39–44. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zang X, Shen L, Pun E, Guo J, Lin H (2017) Photon quantification of electrospun europium-complexes/PMMA submicron fibers. J Alloy Compd 709:620–626. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zhang M, Li J, Zang D, Lu Y, Gao Z, Shi J, Wang C (2016) Preparation and characterization of cotton fabric with potential use in UV resistance and oil reclaim. Carbohyd Polym 137:264–270. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhang Z, Chang H, Xue B, Han Q, Lü X, Zhang S, Li X, Zhu X, Wong W-K, Li K (2017) New transparent flexible nanopaper as ultraviolet filter based on red emissive Eu(III) nanofibrillated cellulose. Opt Mater 73:747–753. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhang H, Hou C, Song L, Ma Y, Ali Z, Gu J, Zhang B, Zhang H, Zhang Q (2018a) A stable 3D sol-gel network with dangling fluoroalkyl chains and rapid self-healing ability as a long-lived superhydrophobic fabric coating. Chem Eng J 334:598–610. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhang Zh, Hj Wang, Liang Yh, Xj Li, Lq Ren, Zq Cui, Luo C (2018b) One-step fabrication of robust superhydrophobic and superoleophilic surfaces with self-cleaning and oil/water separation function. Sci Rep 8(1):3869. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhou X, Zhang Z, Xu X, Guo F, Zhu X, Men X, Ge B (2013a) Robust and durable superhydrophobic cotton fabrics for oil/water separation. ACS Appl Mater Int 5(15):7208–7214. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zhou H, Wang H, Niu H, Gestos A, Lin T (2013b) Robust, self-healing superamphiphobic fabrics prepared by two-step coating of fluoro-containing polymer, fluoroalkyl silane, and modified silica nanoparticles. Adv Funct Mater 23(13):1664–1670. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zhou C, Chen Z, Yang H, Hou K, Zeng X, Zheng Y, Cheng J (2017) Nature-inspired strategy toward superhydrophobic fabrics for versatile oil/water separation. ACS Appl mater inter 9(10):9184–9194. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zimmermann J, Artus GRJ, Seeger S (2007) Long term studies on the chemical stability of a sup-erhydrophobic silicone nanofilament coating. Appl Surf Sci 253(14):5972–5979. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zimmermann J, Reifler FA, Fortunato G, Gerhardt LC, Seeger S (2008a) A simple, one-step approach to durable and robust superhydrophobic textiles. Adv Funct Mater 18(22):3662–3669. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zimmermann J, Artus GRJ, Seeger S (2008b) Superhydrophobic silicone nanofilament coatings. J Adhes Sci Technol 22(3–4):251–263. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering, College of Materials Science and EngineeringNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Advanced Inorganic Function CompositesNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM)Nanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations