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Issue 41, 2013
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Improved antifouling properties of polymer membranes using a ‘layer-by-layer’ mediated method

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Abstract

Polymeric reverse osmosis membranes were modified with antifouling polymer brushes through a ‘layer by layer’ (LBL) mediated method. Based on pure physical electrostatic interaction, the attachment of LBL films did not alter separation performance of the membranes. In addition, the incorporation of an LBL film also helped to amplify the number of potential reaction sites on the membrane surfaces for attachment of antifouling polymer brushes, which were then attached to the surface. Attachment of the brushes included two different approaches, grafting to and grafting from. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and water contact angle measurements showed successful growth of the LBL films and subsequently the polymer brushes. Using this method to modify reverse osmosis membranes, preliminary performance testing showed the antifouling properties of the as-modified membranes were much better than the virgin membrane with no significant loss in water flux and salt rejection.

Graphical abstract: Improved antifouling properties of polymer membranes using a ‘layer-by-layer’ mediated method

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jun 2013, accepted on 09 Sep 2013 and first published on 10 Sep 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20916D
J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013,1, 5651-5658

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    Improved antifouling properties of polymer membranes using a ‘layer-by-layer’ mediated method

    L. Chen, H. Thérien-Aubin, M. C. Y. Wong, E. M. V. Hoek and C. K. Ober, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 5651
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20916D

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