Hydroxyl-functionalized Covalent Organic Framework Membranes: Fast Organic Solvent Nanofiltration

Digambar B. Shinde, Li Cao, Sushil Kumar, Zongyao Zhou, I. Chun Chen, Dinga Wonanke, Matthew Addicoat, Zhiping Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional covalent organic framework (COFs) membranes have shown promise for organic solvent nanofiltration applications. However, the ability to modulate the chemical properties of the membranes and their effects on the molecular transport process has not yet been explored. Here, we demonstrate the synthesis of two COF membranes (TFP-MPOHF and TFP-MPF) with the same scaffold structures but different internal chemical properties. The presence of hydroxyl groups in the TFP-MPOHF membranes resulted in a significant improvement in polar solvent permeability. In contrast, the hydrophobic TFP-MPF membranes offered excellent permeability to nonpolar solvents, which was 130 - 235% higher than the TFP-MPOHF and commercial polymeric membranes. In addition, both COF membranes exhibited precise molecular sieving capacity with an apparent molecular weight cutoff (MWCO) of 800 g mol-1 and excellent stability. A deviation from the pore-flow model was observed for the TFP-MPOHF membranes, which was due to the specific interactions between solvent molecules and polar channel walls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number545623
JournalJournal of Membrane Science and Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by KAUST Centre Competitive Fund FCC/1/1972-19 and KAUST baseline fund BAS/1/1375-01.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 FIMTEC & MPRL. All rights reserved.


  • COF
  • Mass transport mechanism
  • Membranes
  • Organic solvent nanofiltration
  • Surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Filtration and Separation


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydroxyl-functionalized Covalent Organic Framework Membranes: Fast Organic Solvent Nanofiltration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this