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Nanoscale Pillar-enhanced Tribological Surfaces as Antifouling Membranes



Edwin P. Chan, Wansuk Choi, Won-Gi Ahn, Jong-Hyun Park, Hyun W. Jung, Seungkwan Hong, Ji-Young Han, Sangpil Park, Doo-Hyun Ko, Jung-Hyun Lee


We present a nonconventional membrane surface modification approach that utilizes surface topography to manipulate the tribology of foulant accumulation on water desalination membranes via imprinting of submicron titanium dioxide (TiO2) pillar patterns onto the molecularly structured, flat membrane surface. This versatile approach overcomes the constraint of the conventional approach relying on interfacial polymerization that inevitably leads to the formation of ill-defined surface topography. Compared to the nonpatterned membranes, the patterned membranes showed significantly improved fouling resistance for both organic protein and bacterial foulants. The use of hydrophilic TiO2 as a pattern material increases the membrane hydrophilicity, imparting improved chemical antifouling resistance to the membrane. Fouling behavior was also interpreted in terms of the topographical effect depending on the relative size of foulants to the pattern dimension. In addition, computational fluid dynamics simulation suggests that the enhanced antifouling of the patterned membrane is attributed to the enhancement in overall and local shear stress at the fluid−TiO2 pattern interface.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces


membranes, antifouling, patterned interfaces, polymer thin films


Chan, E. , Choi, W. , Ahn, W. , Park, J. , Jung, H. , Hong, S. , Han, J. , Park, S. , Ko, D. and Lee, J. (2016), Nanoscale Pillar-enhanced Tribological Surfaces as Antifouling Membranes, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, [online], (Accessed February 29, 2024)
Created October 24, 2016, Updated April 21, 2020