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Crystallization Induced Phase Separation: Unique Tool to Design Microfiltration Membranes with High Flux and Sustainable Antibacterial Surface

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journal contribution
posted on 08.02.2017, 00:00 authored by Maya Sharma, Sanjay Remanan, Giridhar Madras, Suryasarathi Bose
In the present study, a strategy has been used to fabricate microfiltration membranes through phase separation induced by crystallization in PVDF/PMMA [polyvinylidene fluoride/poly­(methyl methacrylate)] blends. Nanoporous channels in the membranes were designed by selective etching of PMMA and tuned by varying the PMMA concentration in the blend. The interconnectivity of the designed membranes was tuned by changing the concentration of PMMA in the blend. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies showed that the spherulites appeared more compact in the 90/10 blend as compared to 70/30 and 60/40 PVDF/PMMA blends. The obtained flux was higher compared to membranes that are commercially available. Biofouling of membranes is a major concern, and in order to address this concern, silver was sputtered on the token membranes and leaching of Ag+ was monitored using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP). This strategy is “scalable” and is an industrially viable route to design antibiofouling token membranes on the large scale.