Seawater desalination is regarded as a possible way to overcome current shortages of fresh water, and membrane-based air humidification–dehumidification desalination (MHDD) represents a promising technique owing to its high-quality freshwater and cost-effectiveness; however, its development is restricted by membrane fouling. While a superhydrophobic membrane provides resistance to hydrophilic fouling, it remains susceptible to hydrophobic fouling. Here, a polyvinylidene fluoride-ZnO/MXene (PVDF-ZM) membrane, with a reversible conversion between superhydrophobicity and hydrophilicity was fabricated to achieve universal fouling resistance. It earned a competitive permeate flux (3.93 kg·m−2·h−1) and an excellent salt rejection (>99.5%). The membrane exhibited a strong anti-hydrophilic fouling ability, benefiting from its superhydrophobicity and rough surface. The adsorbed hydrophobic contaminants could desorb from the membrane surface under UV irradiation when transforming the surface wettability into hydrophilicity, exhibiting an anti-hydrophobic fouling ability. Subsequently, the membrane surface returned to the hydrophobic state under dark conditions. The membrane recovered 90% of the original permeation flux, while maintaining a salt rejection of >99.5%, thus realizing membrane self-healing. The PVDF-ZM membrane holds promise for sustainable desalination applications.

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