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Issue 6, 2015
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Superwetting polymer-decorated SWCNT composite ultrathin films for ultrafast separation of oil-in-water nanoemulsions

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Abstract

Functional membranes with a superwetting surface property have been extensively explored to achieve oil–water separation. Here, single-walled carbon nanotube/polydopamine/polyethyleneimine (SWCNT/PD/PEI) composite ultrathin films which have superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic properties were successfully prepared and used for the ultrafast separation of surfactant-stabilized oil-in-water nanoemulsions containing oil droplets of tens of nanometers. A SWCNT/PD/PEI composite film with an effective pore size of ∼10 nm and a thickness of ∼160 nm can effectively separate oil-in-water nanoemulsions in an ultrafast manner with fluxes up to ∼6000 L m−2 h−1 bar−1, which is 10-fold higher than traditional ultrafiltration membranes with a similar rejection property. Meanwhile, this film exhibits excellent pH-stability and antifouling property. This work points a direction for designing and fabricating ultrathin and superwetting films for the effective separation of oil-in-water nanoemulsions or nano-sized oils which are hard to separate by traditional methods. The SWCNT/PD/PEI ultrathin film holds promising potential for purifying emulsified wastewater from industries and daily life and for drinking water treatment.

Graphical abstract: Superwetting polymer-decorated SWCNT composite ultrathin films for ultrafast separation of oil-in-water nanoemulsions

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
21 Oct 2014
Accepted
15 Dec 2014
First published
15 Dec 2014

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015,3, 2895-2902
Article type
Paper

Superwetting polymer-decorated SWCNT composite ultrathin films for ultrafast separation of oil-in-water nanoemulsions

S. J. Gao, Y. Z. Zhu, F. Zhang and J. Jin, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 2895
DOI: 10.1039/C4TA05624H

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