Activation of PVDF membranes through facile hydroxylation of the polymeric dope

Samer Al-Gharabli, Musthafa O. Mavukkandy, Joanna Kujawa, Suzana P. Nunes, Hassan A. Arafat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A method comprising a two-step alkali/acid treatment of poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) polymer is developed for the fabrication of flat-sheet PVDF membranes functionalized with labile hydroxyl groups. This method involves the application of a short-duration modification in alkali medium (5% KOH). Extensive characterizations were performed on the prepared membranes. Modification of the polymer altered the crystallinity of the PVDF from a mixture of both α and β phases to a predominant β phase. Lower work of adhesion of the modified membrane indicated the formation of a more hydrophobic and wetting-resistant membrane surface. Centrifugation of the polymer dope after the modification had a pronounced impact on the properties of the resultant membranes. This protocol could be utilized in fine-tuning the properties of PVDF membranes for various target-specific applications such as membrane distillation. This method can also be used in functionalizing PVDF membranes further by exploiting the labile -OH group present on the membrane surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4219-4231
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2017.


  • microstructure
  • polymer
  • surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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