A SWCNT/TiO2 nanocomposite ultrathin film that has superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic properties after UV-light irradiation is successfully prepared by coating TiO2 via the sol-gel process onto an SWCNT ultrathin network film. The robust and flexible SWCNT/TiO2 nanocomposite films with a thickness and pore size of tens of nanometers can separate both surfactant-free and surfactant-stabilized oil-in-water emulsions in an ultrafast manner with fluxes up to 30 000 L m(-2) h(-1) bar(-1), which is 2 orders of magnitude higher than commercial filtration membranes with similar separation performance, and with high separation efficiency. Most importantly, the films exhibit excellent antifouling and self-cleaning performance during multiple cycles with the aid of the photocatalytic property of TiO2 nanoparticles. This work provides a route for designing ultrathin and superwetting films for effective separation of oil-in-water emulsions. The SWCNT/TiO2 ultrathin film is potentially useful in treating emulsified wastewater produced in industry and daily life and for purification of crude oil and fuel.