Solution small-angle x-ray scattering as a screening and predictive tool in the fabrication of asymmetric block copolymer membranes

Rachel Mika Dorin, Debora S. Marques, Hiroaki Sai, Ulla Vainio, William A. Phillip, Klaus-Viktor Peinemann, Suzana Pereira Nunes, Ulrich B. Wiesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analysis of the diblock copolymer poly(styrene-b-(4-vinyl)pyridine) in a ternary solvent system of 1,4-dioxane, tetrahydrofuran, and N,N-dimethylformamide, and the triblock terpolymer poly(isoprene-b-styrene-b-(4-vinyl)-pyridine) in a binary solvent system of 1,4-dioxane and tetrahydrofuran, reveals a concentration-dependent onset of ordered structure formation. Asymmetric membranes fabricated from casting solutions with polymer concentrations at or slightly below this ordering concentration possess selective layers with the desired nanostructure. In addition to rapidly screening possible polymer solution concentrations, solution SAXS analysis also predicts hexagonal and square pore lattices of the final membrane surface structure. These results suggest solution SAXS as a powerful tool for screening casting solution concentrations and predicting surface structure in the fabrication of asymmetric ultrafiltration membranes from self-assembled block copolymers. (Figure presented) © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-617
Number of pages4
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 19 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This work was funded in part by Award No. KUS-C1-018-02, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Portions of this research were carried out at the light source DORIS III at DESY, a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF)), as well as the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS). CHESS is supported by the NSF and NIH/NIGMS via NSF Award DMR-0936384. This work was further supported by the National Science Foundation through a single investigator award (DMR-1104773)), and KAUST-GMSV award "Visualization and Pore Tuning of Asymmetric Membranes". This work made use of the KAUST Core Lab and the Integrated Advanced Microscopy Facilities and Polymer Characterization Facility of the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) with support from the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) program (DMR 1120296). R.M.D acknowledges support from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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