Thin polymer films with continuous vertically aligned 1 nm pores fabricated by soft confinement

Xunda Feng, Siamak Nejati, Matthew G. Cowan, Marissa E. Tousley, Brian R. Wiesenauer, Richard D. Noble, Menachem Elimelech, Douglas L. Gin, Chinedum O. Osuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Membrane separations are critically important in areas ranging from health care and analytical chemistry to bioprocessing and water purification. An ideal nanoporous membrane would consist of a thin film with physically continuous and vertically aligned nanopores and would display a narrow distribution of pore sizes. However, the current state of the art departs considerably from this ideal and is beset by intrinsic trade-offs between permeability and selectivity. We demonstrate an effective and scalable method to fabricate polymer films with ideal membrane morphologies consisting of submicron thickness films with physically continuous and vertically aligned 1 nm pores. The approach is based on soft confinement to control the orientation of a cross-linkable mesophase in which the pores are produced by self-assembly. The scalability, exceptional ease of fabrication, and potential to create a new class of nanofiltration membranes stand out as compelling aspects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 26 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Membrane separation
  • Soft confinement
  • Thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Feng, X., Nejati, S., Cowan, M. G., Tousley, M. E., Wiesenauer, B. R., Noble, R. D., Elimelech, M., Gin, D. L., & Osuji, C. O. (2016). Thin polymer films with continuous vertically aligned 1 nm pores fabricated by soft confinement. ACS Nano, 10(1), 150-158. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.5b06130