Ultrathin graphene oxide membrane with constructed tent-shaped structures for efficient and tunable molecular sieving

Kaijie Yang, Tingting Pan, Seunghyun Hong, Kun Zhang, Xiaoying Zhu, Baoliang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Graphene oxide membranes (GOMs) continue to attract intense interest because of their promising two-dimensional channels. However, finely adjusting a GOM's interplanar spacing for tunable molecular separation is still challenging in aqueous solution. Herein, we report tent-shaped interplanar channels that can be constructed by loading SiO2 nanospheres (diameter ≈ 30 nm) into ultrathin GOMs (thickness ≈ 20 nm). The tent-shaped structure takes advantage of the augmented space to accelerate the flux while utilizing the preserved circumjacent nano-channel as a molecular sieve. Particularly, by adjusting the density of intercalated SiO2 nanospheres, the concomitant interlayer channel can be finely tuned with molecular-level accuracy. Precise selectivity makes the SiO2 loaded GOM (SGM) capable of separating molecules with sub-nanometer differences. At the same time, under the premise of the same rejection, tunable channels endow SGMs with 1.3-63 times higher permeability than that of a pristine ultrathin GOM. This tent-shaped structure supplies a new avenue for GOM structural regulation, and the impressive performance demonstrates its great potential in the fields of water purification and membrane filtration. This journal is
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2373-2384
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science: Nano
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundations of China (21621005 and 21537005), and the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1800705).


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