Accelerating the design of multi-component nanocomposite imprinted membranes by integrating a versatile metal–organic methodology with a mussel-inspired secondary reaction platform†
Efforts to engineer novel membrane materials with enhanced anti-fouling and comprehensive properties as well as highly selective separation abilities are hampered by the lack of effective imprinted cavities and structure stability. In this work, a novel multi-component metal–organic nanocomposite imprinted membrane (MMO-MIM) has been prepared by integrating a bioinspired metal–organic methodology with the secondary surface sol–gel imprinting technique. The synthesis pathway of MMO-MIM involves two steps: initially, a self-polymerized polydopamine process followed by hydrolysis with ammonium fluotitanate on the surface of the PVDF membrane, a surface-initiated sol–gel imprinted procedure is then conducted on the obtained bio-adhesive nano-sized TiO2 surface system for the fabrication of MMO-MIM. Attributed to the formation of the multilayered membrane structure, stronger fouling resistance and largely enhanced adsorption capacities have been obtained in this case. Meanwhile, the as-prepared MMO-MIM not only exhibits rapid adsorption dynamics, but also possesses excellent separation performance (βMMO-MIM/MMO-NIM and βm-cresol/2,4-DP are higher than 2.6 and 4.0, respectively) of templates. In addition, all synthesis procedures were conducted in aqueous or ethanol solution at ambient temperature, which was environmental friendly for scaling up without causing pollution.