For the first time, self-assembly and non-solvent induced phase separation was applied to polysulfone-based linear block copolymers, reaching mechanical stability much higher than other block copolymers membranes used in this method, which were mainly based on polystyrene blocks. Poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-b-polysulfone-b-poly(tert-butyl acrylate) (PtBA30k-b-PSU14k-b-PtBA30k) with a low polydispersity of 1.4 was synthesized by combining step-growth condensation and RAFT polymerization. Various advanced electron microscopies revealed that PtBA30k-b-PSU14k-b-PtBA30k assembles into worm-like cylindrical micelles in DMAc and adopts a “flower-like” arrangement with the PSU central block forming the shell. Computational modeling described the mechanism of micelle formation and morphological transition. Asymmetric nanostructured membranes were obtained with a highly porous interconnected skin layer and a sublayer with finger-like macrovoids. Ultrafiltration tests confirmed a water permeance of 555 L m-2 h-1 bar-1 with molecular weight cut-off of 28 kg/mol. PtBA segments on the membrane surface were then hydrolyzed and complexed with metals, leading to cross-linking and enhancement of antibacterial capability.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - 2016|
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was sponsored by King Abdullah University of
Science and Technology (KAUST), from base line funding and
partially in the frame of the CRG-2 project, grant 1671.