In the present work, we developed a novel method for transferring monolayer graphene onto four different commercial hydrophilic micro/ultra-filtration substrates. The developed method used electrostatic charging to maintain the contact between the graphene and the target substrate intact during the etching step through the wet transfer process. Several measurement/analysis techniques were used in order to evaluate the properties of the surfaces and to assess the quality of the transferred graphene. The techniques included water contact angle (CA), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Potassium chloride (KCl) ions were used for the transport study through the developed graphene-based membranes. The results revealed that 70% rejection of KCI ions was recorded for the graphene/polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF1) membrane, followed by 67% rejection for the graphene/polyethersulfone (PES) membrane, and 65% rejection for graphene/PVDF3 membrane. It was revealed that the smoothest substrate was the most effective in rejecting the ions. Although defects such as tears and cracks within the graphene layer were still evolving in this new transfer method, however, the use of Nylon 6,6 interfacial polymerization allowed sealing the tears and cracks within the graphene monolayer. This enhanced the KCl ions rejection of up to 85% through the defect-sealed graphene/polymer composite membranes.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-11-25
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and that of University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The authors extend their appreciation to the MERG lab at Al-Hussein Technical University (www.htu.edu.jo/merg) for their support and guidance.