Self-organized isoporous membranes with tailored pore sizes
AbstractMembrane formation via the combination of self-assembly and the non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) process of diblock copolymers is investigated. Several polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) diblock copolymers with different molecular weights and weight percentages of both blocks are tested under different parameters, leading to membrane surfaces with uniform pores of approximately 20–70 nm diameter. The average pore diameter is proved to be adjustable by changing the total molar mass of the block copolymer. The solution composition is an additional parameter controlling the structure formation. The purpose was to explore the upper and lower limits of the membrane structure formation by varying the molecular weight and the composition of the block copolymer. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to image the surface morphology and the homogeneity of the pore sizes. Primary results of water flux and retention are presented.