Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Insights into the Water Transport Mechanism in Polymeric Membranes from Neutron Scattering

Published

Author(s)

Edwin P. Chan, Bradley R. Frieberg, Jacob Daniel Tarver, Madhusudan Tyagi, WenXu Zhnag, Bryan Coughlin, Christopher M. Stafford, Abhishek Roy, Steve Rosenberg, Christopher L. Soles

Abstract

Polymeric membranes are ubiquitous in a number of transport ap- plications including gas separation, water desalination, solid state batteries and fuel cells. The permeability and selectivity of these membranes are intimately linked to the structure and dynamics of the pores within these materials. In this contribution, we study the structure as well as the water and polymer dynamics of several polymeric membranes using small-angle and quasi-elastic neutron scat- tering. We demonstrate that on the scale of a few nanometers, water appears to diffuse through a water desalination membrane at a rate comparable to bulk water, while water diffuses at a rate that is a factor of two slower in an anion exchange membrane. These results are reconciled in terms the structure of the desalination membrane which contains a tortuous porous network with pores approximately a nanometer in dimensions whereas the anion exchange membrane is a swollen polymer network without such channels. These findings have important implications in understanding the underlying trans- port mechanisms that differentiate different types of polymeric membranes.
Citation
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume
53
Issue
4

Keywords

membranes, polymers, transport, neutron scattering, reverse-osmosis, anion-exchange

Citation

Chan, E. , Frieberg, B. , , J. , Tyagi, M. , Zhnag, W. , Coughlin, B. , Stafford, C. , Roy, A. , Rosenberg, S. and Soles, C. (2020), Insights into the Water Transport Mechanism in Polymeric Membranes from Neutron Scattering, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, [online], https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.9b02195 (Accessed August 18, 2022)
Created February 5, 2020, Updated April 25, 2020