Synthesis of Sub-10 nm Two-Dimensional Covalent Organic Thin Film with Sharp Molecular Sieving Nanofiltration

Ikhlas Gadwal, Guan Sheng, Roshni Thankamony, Yang Liu, Huifang Li, Zhiping Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


We demonstrated here a novel and facile synthesis of two-dimensional (2D) covalent organic thin film with pore size around 1.5 nm using a planar, amphiphilic and substituted heptacyclic truxene based triamine and a simple dialdehyde as building blocks by dynamic imine bond formation at the air/water interface using Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) method. Optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM), all unanimously showed the formation of large, molecularly thin and free-standing membrane that can be easily transferred on different substrate surfaces. The 2D membrane supported on a porous polysulfone showed a rejection rate of 64 and 71% for NaCl and MgSO4, respectively, and a clear molecular sieving at molecular size around 1.3 nm, which demonstrated a great potential in the application of pretreatment of seawater desalination and separation of organic molecules.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12295-12299
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 5 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1972-19-01
Acknowledgements: We acknowledge the support from the KAUST center competitive fund FCC/1/1972-19-01.


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