In-situ Synthesis of Antibacterial Ultrafiltration and Microfiltration Membranes with Controllable Pore Size

Published Date:
Aug 2020

Sahar Qavi, Reza Foudazi

Self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers at an oil/water interface provides a flexible system for designing different types of mesomorphic structures (mesophases), such as lamellar, hexagonal, bicontinuous cubic, and micellar cubic. In this work, we use direct templating of preformed mesophases by polymerizing one of the phases (containing monomers) to obtain a nanoporous membrane. In such cases, we deal with polymerization in nanoconfinement, which has been studied in this work. Additionally, since processing of mesophases in the form of membranes involves deformation and flow, we investigated the viscoelastic behavior of mesophases and effect of flow on their nanostructure and orientation. Finally, selected mesophases are used to make UF membranes using this templating method. The fabricated UF membranes are found to have a molecular weight cutoff of 1500 g/mol, pore sizes in the range of 3-4 nm, and exhibit both excellent fouling resistance and high permeance of water, vastly outperforming a conventional UF membrane.

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Mesophases, Lyotropic Liquid Crystals, Self-Assembly, Nanoconfinement, Shear-Induced Alignment, Relaxation, Templating, Ultrafiltration, Membrane