Thermally and Chemically Stable Isoporous Block Copolymer Membranes


Ultrafiltration (UF) membranes, particularly membranes fabricated from self-assembled diblock copolymers, hold promise in wastewater treatment, dairy, and food industries. Membrane development goals involve combining a highly porous selective layer with a narrow pore size distribution with a mechanically stable supporting layer to achieve constant flux. To date, isoporous integral asymmetric membranes have been formed either as flat sheets or hollow fibers, and a surface-selective layer determines membrane separation performance. A unique isoporous membrane of the poly(4-vinylbenzocyclobutene)-b-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PVBCB-b-P4VP) diblock copolymer with a substructure of almost homogeneous porosity throughout the body of the material (three-dimensional porosity) has been developed. Moreover, the matrix of the membrane (PVCB) enables it to undergo cross-linking, allowing the membrane to be thermally sterilized and applied in high-temperature UF applications.
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