Sub-micron sized carbon molecular sieve (CMS) materials were produced via ball milling for subsequent use in hybrid material formation. A detailed analysis of the effects of the milling process in the presence of different milling environments is reported. The milling process apparently alters the molecular scale structure and properties of the carbon material. Three cases: unmilled, air milled and nitrogen milled, were analyzed in this work. The property changes were probed using equilibrium sorption experiments with different gases. Furthermore, WAXD and BET results also showed differences between milling processes. Finally in order to improve the interfacial polymer-sieve region of hybrid membranes, the CMS surface was chemically modified with a linkage unit capable of covalently bonding the polymer to the sieve. A published single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNTs) modification method was adopted to attach a primary aromatic amine to the surface. Several aspects including rigidity, chemical composition, bulky groups and length were considered in selecting the preferred linkage unit. Fortunately kinetic and equilibrium sorption properties of the modified sieves showed very little difference from unmodified samples, suggesting that the linkage unit is not excessively filling or obstructing access to the pores of the CMSs during the modification process. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.