A comparative study for the characterization of polyaniline based nanocomposites and membrane properties†
Polyaniline (PANI) based novel nanocomposites have been fabricated by using a simple sol–gel method. The experimental conditions including mixing volume ratio of reactants, pH and temperature were established for their synthesis. For the comparative studies, characterizations were performed by using FTIR, TGA, SEM, TEM and XRD analyses. The structural studies reveal the amorphous and semi-crystalline natures with the particle sizes in the nano range. PANI supported nanocomposites exhibit improved conducting behavior, higher ion uptake capacity along with chemical and thermal stability. Membrane potentials of monovalent electrolytes namely KCl, NaCl and LiCl have been studied at different concentrations to examine the relationship between effective fixed charge density and transport properties of the membrane. The present study revealed that among Li+, K+ and Na+ ions, the PANI–Zr(IV)sulphosalicylate nanocomposite membrane shows more cation-selective behaviour towards K+ ions. Effective fixed charge densities were found to follow the order K+ > Na+ > Li+.