Assembling covalent organic framework membranes via phase switching for ultrafast molecular transport

Niaz Ali Khan, Runnan Zhang, Xiaoyao Wang, Li Cao, Chandra S. Azad, Chunyang Fan, Jinqiu Yuan, Mengying Long, Hong Wu, Mark A. Olson, Zhongyi Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Fabrication of covalent organic framework (COF) membranes for molecular transport has excited highly pragmatic interest as a low energy and cost-effective route for molecular separations. However, currently, most COF membranes are assembled via a one-step procedure in liquid phase(s) by concurrent polymerization and crystallization, which are often accompanied by a loosely packed and less ordered structure. Herein, we propose a two-step procedure via a phase switching strategy, which decouples the polymerization process and the crystallization process to assemble compact and highly crystalline COF membranes. In the pre-assembly step, the mixed monomer solution is casted into a pristine membrane in the liquid phase, along with the completion of polymerization process. In the assembly step, the pristine membrane is transformed into a COF membrane in the vapour phase of solvent and catalyst, along with the completion of crystallization process. Owing to the compact and highly crystalline structure, the resultant COF membranes exhibit an unprecedented permeance (water ≈ 403 L m−2 bar−1 h−1 and acetonitrile ≈ 519 L m−2 bar−1 h−1). Our two-step procedure via phase switching strategy can open up a new avenue to the fabrication of advanced organic crystalline microporous membranes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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