Finely Tuned Submicroporous Thin-Film Molecular Sieve Membranes for Highly Efficient Fluid Separations

Zain Ali, Bader Ghanem, Yingge Wang, Federico Pacheco Oreamuno, Wojciech Ogieglo, Hakkim Vovusha, Giuseppe Genduso, Udo Schwingenschlögl, Yu Han, Ingo Pinnau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Polymeric membranes with increasingly high permselective performances are gaining a significant role in lowering the energy burden and improving the environmental sustainability of complex chemical separations. However, the commercial deployment of newly designed materials with promising intrinsic properties for fluid separations has been stalled by challenges associated with fabrication and scale up of low-cost, high-performance, defect-free thin-film composite (TFC) membranes. Here, a facile method to fabricate next-generation TFC membranes using a bridged-bicyclic triptycene tetra-acyl chloride (Trip) building block with a large fraction of finely tuned structural submicroporosity (pore size < 4 Å) is demonstrated. The TFCs exhibit superb potential for removal of small (≈200 g mol−1) organic microcontaminants from organic solvent streams by showing both improved rejection and permeance in organic systems compared to current state-of-the-art commercial membranes. The TFCs also display unprecedented properties for desalination applications with performance located far above the current water permeance/sodium chloride rejection trendline. The strategy of using highly contorted triptycene building blocks with well-defined interconnected internal free volume elements establishes a scalable, generalized approach to fabricate highly selective, submicroporous TFC membranes for a wide variety of challenging energy-intensive fluid separations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2001132
JournalAdvanced Materials
StatePublished - Apr 22 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1323-01-01
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by funding (BAS/1/1323-01-01) from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The authors would like to thank Dr. Tiara Puspasari for her help with collecting electrokinetic data.


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