University of Connecticut,
Keywords: 3D, membranes, water treatment
Summary:Our recent work on printing polyamide membranes demonstrated the ability to make desalination membranes of exceptional smoothness and controllable thickness. The approach required the electrospray deposition of an amine monomer and an acid chloride crosslinker onto a substrates where they react to form an aromatic polyamide. The technique allows for exceptional control of the reaction and makes it advantageous over conventional interfacial polymerization. Conventional interfacial polymerization is a relatively uncontrollable process and has few options for independently tailoring selectivity and permeance. We can adapt this approach to making membranes of novel polymers as well, many of which cannot be formed easily into thin film or composite structures with high permeance and high selectivity. We demonstrate the use of the printing approach with several emergent polymer systems, including self-assembled materials, to demonstrate the value of this approach.