Complexation induced phase separation: preparation of composite membranes with a nanometer thin dense skin loaded with metal ions

Luis Francisco Villalobos, Madhavan Karunakaran, Klaus-Viktor Peinemann

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We present the development of a facile phase-inversion method for forming asymmetric membranes with a precise high metal ion loading capacity in only the dense layer. The approach combines the use of macromolecule-metal intermolecular complexes to form the dense layer of asymmetric membranes with nonsolvent-induced phase separation to form the porous support. This allows the independent optimization of both the dense layer and porous support while maintaining the simplicity of a phase-inversion process. Moreover, it facilitates control over (i) the thickness of the dense layer throughout several orders of magnitude—from less than 15 nm to more than 6 μm, (ii) the type and amount of metal ions loaded in the dense layer, (iii) the morphology of the membrane surface, and (iv) the porosity and structure of the support. This simple and scalable process provides a new platform for building multifunctional membranes with a high loading of well-dispersed metal ions in the dense layer.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3166-3171
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 27 2015

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