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3D nm-Thin Biomimetic Membrane for Ultimate Molecular Separation

Abstract

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.

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
24 May 2020
Accepted
29 Jun 2020
First published
29 Jun 2020

Mater. Horiz., 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Communication

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

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