Antifouling and antibiofouling pH responsive block copolymer based membranes by selective surface modification
Antifouling and antibacterial membranes are prepared by selective surface modification of pH responsive polystyrene-b-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PS-P4VP) diblock copolymers by quaternization and zwitterionization reactions on a P4VP moiety. Nanoporous membranes based on the self-assembly of 2-(4′-hydroxybenzeneazo) benzoic acid (HABA)–PS-P4VP supramolecular complexes and nonsolvent induced phase separation are first prepared and the surfaces are functionalized by crosslinking with diiodobutane vapors and reacting with propane sultone vapors at moderate temperature and under vacuum conditions. Selective functionalization of surfaces is carried out to enhance the antifouling and antibiofouling properties of the membrane and to retain its pH switching behavior. The membranes are thoroughly characterized by various instrumental techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, quartz crystal microbalance, contact angle, etc. Antifouling and antibacterial properties are proven by analyzing the adsorption of bovine serum albumin protein and bacterial cell attachment and killing efficiency. The actual membrane performance is assessed in terms of water flux under different pressures and pHs and Congo red dye rejection efficiency.