Synthesis, Characterization and Application of Poly (Styrene-4- Vinyl Pyridine) Membranes Assembled With Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
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AbstractPoly(styrene‐4‐vinylpyridine) (PS‐P4VP) isoporous membranes were prepared and their properties were evaluated in this research. The solution was prepared by dissolving PS‐P4VP polymer with necessary additives into a 1:1:1 1,4‐dioxane – N,N‐dimethyl formamide – tetrahydrofuran (DOX‐DMF‐THF, DDT) solvent. Then 0.5‐1.0 mL of the primary solution was cast onto the non‐woven substrate membrane on a glass slide, evaporated for 15‐20 sec and immersed into de‐ionized water for more than 30 min for the solidification of isoporous structure and for the formation of the primary films, which could be post‐processed in different ways for different tests. The membrane surface presents a well‐ordered, hexagonal self‐assembly structure, which is fit for aqueous and gaseous filtration. The pore size of the isoporous surface is 30~40 nm. The pore size is also sensitive to [H+] in the solution and a typical pair of S‐shape pH‐correlation curves with significant hysteresis was found. Four techniques were tried to improve the properties of the membranes in this research: 1) 1,4‐diiodobutane was introduced to chemically change the structure as a cross‐linking agent. 2) single‐wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) was linked to the membranes in order to strengthen the stability and rigidity and to reduce the hysteresis. 3) Homo‐poly(4‐vinylpyridine) (homo‐P4VP) was added and inserted into the PS‐P4VP micelles to affect the pore size and surface structure. 4) Copper acetate (Cu(Ac)2) was used as substitute of dioxane to prepare the Cu(Ac)2‐DMF‐THF (CDT) mixed solvent, for a better SWCNT dispersion. All the possible improvements were judged by the atomic force microscopy (AFM) images, water and gas flux tests and pH‐correlation curves. The introduction of SWCNT was the most important innovation in this research and is promising in future applications.