Reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes are comprised of a dense active layer supported by a porous support. Commercial active layer are highly crosslinked polyamides that are formed through interfacial polymerization directly on the support structure. Although effective, the rapid polymerization rate and reaction conditions produce films with rough surface structures and chemical heterogeneity. Therefore, quantification of membrane structure-property relationships is difficult, since changes to synthesis conditions alter multiple properties and film roughness prevents depth profiling analysis techniques. In response to this need, we are developing quantitative measurement methods to correlate membrane structure and dynamics to performance (flux and selectivity). To facilitate these measurements, we developed an approach for synthesizing model crosslinked polyamide membranes based on molecular layer-by-layer (mLbL) deposition, which enables precise control over network structure, surface chemistry, residual charge, roughness, and film thickness as well as placement of specific functional groups at defined locations within the network. This presentation will highlight our progress to-date in both the fabrication of the model membrane materials as well as the advanced measurements of their properties.
Proceedings Title: 2012 IUPAC World Polymer Congress Extended Abstracts
Conference Dates: June 24-29, 2012
Conference Location: Blacksburg, VA
Conference Title: 2012 IUPAC World Polymer Congress
Pub Type: Conferences
membranes, reverse osmosis, polyamides, layer-by-layer, thin films