Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

3D nm-Thin Biomimetic Membrane for Ultimate Molecular Separation


Multi-functional membranes with high permeance and selectivity that can mimic nature’s designs have tremendous industrial and bio-medical applications. Here, we report a novel concept of a 3D nanometer (nm)-thin membrane that can overcome the shortcomings of conventional membrane structures. Our 3D membrane composes two three-dimensionally interwoven channels that are separated by a continuous nm-thin amorphous TiO2 layer. This 3D architecture dramatically increases the surface area by 6,000 times; coupled with an ultra-short diffusion distance through the 2-4 nm-thin selective layer that allows for ultrafast gas and water transports, ~900 l·m-2·h-1·bar-1. The 3D membrane also exhibits combined size- and charge-based exclusion mechanisms which leads to very high ion rejection (R ~ 100% for potassium ferricyanide). The combination of high ion rejection and ultrafast permeation makes our 3DM superior to state-of-the-art high-flux membranes whose performances are limited by the flux-rejection tradeoff relationship. Furthermore, its ultimate Li+ selectivity over polysulfide or gas can potentially solve major technical challenges in energy storage such as lithium-sulfur or lithium-O2 batteries.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

24 May 2020
29 Jun 2020
First published
29 Jun 2020

Mater. Horiz., 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type

3D nm-Thin Biomimetic Membrane for Ultimate Molecular Separation

T. Wang, S. Liang, Z. Qi, M. M. Biener, T. Voisin, J. Hammons, I. Tran, M. A. Worsley, T. Braun, Y. Wang, J. Biener, T. Baumann, S. Kim and J. Ye, Mater. Horiz., 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0MH00853B

Social activity

Search articles by author