Growing to shrink: Nano-tunable polystyrene brushes inside 5 nm mesopores

Renaud Merlet, Mohammad Amirilargani, Louis C.P.M. de Smet, Ernst J.R. Sudhölter, Arian Nijmeijer, Louis Winnubst (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The development of controlled polymerization techniques in the last decade has enabled polymer brushes to be grown from inorganic substrates with precision. Less studied are brushes grown from concave geometries of high curvature, such as mesopores, despite their application potential in the separation sciences. The method used here, surface-initiated, activators-regenerated-by-electron-transfer, atom-transfer radical polymerization (SIARGET-ATRP), is used to grow a polystyrene brush grown from aluminum oxide pores of 5 nm diameter, to-date the most confined geometry in which ATRP has been conducted. The brush is characterized by TGA, AFM, and FTIR, the latter two methods applied specifically to the external brush. Additionally, permporometry as well as permeability and retention measurements are used to characterize the graft within the mesopores. We show that the brush length is tunable, that the brush length is solvent-dependent, and we also demonstrate the application potential of this hybrid material as an organic solvent nanofiltration membrane. This new class of membranes shows excellent performance: a toluene permeability of 2.0 Lm−2 h−1 bar−1 accompanied by a 90% rejection of diphenylanthracene (MW 330 g mol−1).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-640
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of membrane science
Volume572
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Polystyrenes
brushes
Brushes
Polymerization
Permeability
polystyrene
Membranes
Aluminum Oxide
Toluene
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Polymers
Electrons
Transplants
Atom transfer radical polymerization
permeability
polymerization
membranes
Nanofiltration membranes
Geometry
Hybrid materials

Keywords

  • membranes
  • Ceramic
  • Nanofiltration
  • Grafting
  • inorganic membranes
  • Organic solvent nanofiltration
  • Alumina

Cite this

Merlet, Renaud ; Amirilargani, Mohammad ; de Smet, Louis C.P.M. ; Sudhölter, Ernst J.R. ; Nijmeijer, Arian ; Winnubst, Louis. / Growing to shrink : Nano-tunable polystyrene brushes inside 5 nm mesopores. In: Journal of membrane science. 2019 ; Vol. 572. pp. 632-640.
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abstract = "The development of controlled polymerization techniques in the last decade has enabled polymer brushes to be grown from inorganic substrates with precision. Less studied are brushes grown from concave geometries of high curvature, such as mesopores, despite their application potential in the separation sciences. The method used here, surface-initiated, activators-regenerated-by-electron-transfer, atom-transfer radical polymerization (SIARGET-ATRP), is used to grow a polystyrene brush grown from aluminum oxide pores of 5 nm diameter, to-date the most confined geometry in which ATRP has been conducted. The brush is characterized by TGA, AFM, and FTIR, the latter two methods applied specifically to the external brush. Additionally, permporometry as well as permeability and retention measurements are used to characterize the graft within the mesopores. We show that the brush length is tunable, that the brush length is solvent-dependent, and we also demonstrate the application potential of this hybrid material as an organic solvent nanofiltration membrane. This new class of membranes shows excellent performance: a toluene permeability of 2.0 Lm−2 h−1 bar−1 accompanied by a 90{\%} rejection of diphenylanthracene (MW 330 g mol−1).",
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Growing to shrink : Nano-tunable polystyrene brushes inside 5 nm mesopores. / Merlet, Renaud; Amirilargani, Mohammad; de Smet, Louis C.P.M.; Sudhölter, Ernst J.R.; Nijmeijer, Arian; Winnubst, Louis (Corresponding Author).

In: Journal of membrane science, Vol. 572, 15.02.2019, p. 632-640.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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