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Issue 18, 2016
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Synthesis of highly porous poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-b-polysulfone-b-poly(tert-butyl acrylate) asymmetric membranes

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Abstract

For the first time, self-assembly and non-solvent induced phase separation was applied to polysulfone-based linear block copolymers, reaching mechanical stability much higher than other block copolymer membranes used in this method, which were mainly based on polystyrene blocks. Poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-b-polysulfone-b-poly(tert-butyl acrylate) (PtBA30k-b-PSU14k-b-PtBA30k) with a low polydispersity of 1.4 was synthesized by combining step-growth condensation and RAFT polymerization. Various advanced electron microscopies revealed that PtBA30k-b-PSU14k-b-PtBA30k assembles into worm-like cylindrical micelles in DMAc and adopts a “flower-like” arrangement with the PSU central block forming the shell. Computational modeling described the mechanism of micelle formation and morphological transition. Asymmetric nanostructured membranes were obtained with a highly porous interconnected skin layer and a sublayer with finger-like macrovoids. Ultrafiltration tests confirmed a water permeance of 555 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 with a molecular weight cut-off of 28 kg mol−1. PtBA segments on the membrane surface were then hydrolyzed and complexed with metals, leading to cross-linking and enhancement of antibacterial capability.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of highly porous poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-b-polysulfone-b-poly(tert-butyl acrylate) asymmetric membranes

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Feb 2016, accepted on 22 Mar 2016 and first published on 24 Mar 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6PY00215C
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2016,7, 3076-3089

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    Synthesis of highly porous poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-b-polysulfone-b-poly(tert-butyl acrylate) asymmetric membranes

    Y. Xie, N. Moreno, V. M. Calo, H. Cheng, P. Hong, R. Sougrat, A. R. Behzad, R. Tayouo and S. P. Nunes, Polym. Chem., 2016, 7, 3076
    DOI: 10.1039/C6PY00215C

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