Dendrimeric Thin-Film Composite Membranes: Free Volume, Roughness, and Fouling Resistance

Phuoc H.H. Duong, Jian Zuo, Suzana P. Nunes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Copolyamide films with a thickness from 50 to 780 nm were fabricated by interfacial polymerization between mixtures of m-phenylenediamine and primary amine-terminated polyamidoamine dendrimers (PAMAM) in the aqueous phase and trimesoyl chloride (TMC) in the organic phase. Different PAMAM generations (G0, d = 15 Å, Z = 4; G3, d = 36 Å, Z = 32; and G5, d = 54, Z = 128, where d is the measured diameter and Z is the number of terminal groups), and concentrations were used to obtain copolyamide films with different cross-linked structures. The influences of the concentration and degree of branching (PAMAM generation) on free volume were analyzed via positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS) and correlated with the separation properties of copolyamide films. Besides, surface and intrinsic properties of copolyamide films prepared under different conditions were compared. The high hydrophilicity of PAMAM in the copolyamide network leads to the formation of a hydration layer on the copolyamide surface, which minimizes fouling. The separation performance of copolyamide membranes with various PAMAM networks was investigated in forward osmosis (FO) experiments. Understanding the correlation between the PAMAM structure/concentration, free volume, thickness, and surface intrinsic properties leads to the design of suitable fouling resistant thin-film composite membranes in a single interfacial polymerization process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14337-14349
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 6 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). We thank Professor Tai-Shung Chung of the National University of Singapore for the opportunity to use his laboratory’s positron annihilation spectroscopy and his valuable comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Dendrimeric Thin-Film Composite Membranes: Free Volume, Roughness, and Fouling Resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this