Annealing of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers for Control over Ion Permeation

Dennis M. Reurink, Jord P. Haven, Iske Achterhuis, Saskia Lindhoud, (Erik) H.D.W. Roesink, Wiebe M. de Vos* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
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Polyelectrolyte multilayer based membranes are highly promising systems to create stable and versatile nanofiltration membranes. One very popular and well-studied polyelectrolyte pair, is the polycation poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDADMAC) and polyanion poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS), due to its excellent separation properties and high chemical and physical stability. Membrane charge can be easily controlled by simply terminating the multilayer by either PDADMAC or PSS. Unfortunately, a phenomenon that occurs during multilayer coating, is overcompensation by PDADMAC. In this study, it is shown that overcompensation of PDADMAC results in a positive surface charge even when the multilayer is PSS-terminated. In addition, it is shown that this leads to poorer membrane separation properties with sulfate retention decreasing from 94 to 39%. At the same time, it is demonstrated that a so-called annealing cycle with a high salt concentration leads to recovery of the negative surface charge, increasing the sulfate retention from 39 to 95%. Even for multilayers at which no irreversible positive surface charge is measured, separation properties improved substantially (increasing sulfate retention from 94 to 97%, at a higher membrane permeability) after salt-annealing. It is concluded that post-treatment by salt-annealing results in an improved membrane performance and allows an additional degree of control over the membrane separation properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800651
JournalAdvanced materials interfaces
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2018


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Ion transport
  • Nanofiltration membranes
  • Polyelectrolyte multilayers
  • Annealing


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