Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolytes at the surface of a fiberglass membrane used as a support of the polarized liquid–liquid interface

Paulina Borgul, Konrad Rudnicki, Liangyong Chu, Andrzej Leniart, Slawomira Skrzypek, Ernst J.R. Sudhölter, Lukasz Poltorak

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In this work, the electrified liquid–liquid interface (LLI) was supported with the bare and polyelectrolyte modified fiberglass membranes. The permeability of these supports was then investigated with ion transfer voltammetry (ITV). This work descends from three mutually interconnected experimental tasks. (i) The study of an interfacial behavior of three polyelectrolytes, poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI), polystyrene sulfonate (PSS), and polyhexamethylene guanidine (PHMG) at the polarized LLI. (ii) Electrochemical characterization of the LLI supported by the unmodified fiberglass membrane. (iii) Polyelectrolyte multilayer placement, using layer-by-layer processing, at the surface of the fiberglass membrane and its further utilization as the support for the electrified LLI. Bare and modified membranes were characterized using ITV in the presence of a family of quaternary ammonium cations: tetramethylammonium (TMA+), tetraethylammonium (TEA+), tetrapropylammonium (TPrA+) and tetrabutylammonium (TBA+) initially dissolved in the aqueous phase as the chloride salts. The ionic currents related to their transmembrane transfer were affected already after the first polyelectrolyte layer placement. In addition to electrochemistry, the modification process was followed using several complementary techniques, including optical microscopy (OM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The proposed methodology offers very simple, fast, and versatile (having in mind the available selection of functional polyelectrolytes) protocol for a membrane preparation having size sieving properties. In turn, the electrochemistry at the LLI can be used as an insightful tool to study the ionic transmembrane currents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number137215
JournalElectrochimica acta
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020


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