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Highly Conductive and Permeable Nanocomposite Ultrafiltration Membranes Using Laser-Reduced Graphene Oxide

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journal contribution
posted on 09.03.2021, 18:38 by Anthony P. Straub, David S. Bergsman, Bezawit A. Getachew, Liam M. Leahy, Jatin J. Patil, Nicola Ferralis, Jeffrey C. Grossman
Electrically conductive membranes are a promising avenue to reduce water treatment costs due to their ability to minimize the detrimental impact of fouling, to degrade contaminants, and to provide other additional benefits during filtration. Here, we demonstrate the facile and low-cost fabrication of electrically conductive membranes using laser-reduced graphene oxide (GO). In this method, GO is filtered onto a poly­(ether sulfone) membrane support before being pyrolyzed via laser into a conductive film. Laser-reduced GO composite membranes are shown to be equally as permeable to water as the underlying membrane support and possess sheet resistances as low as 209 Ω/□. Application of the laser-reduced GO membranes is demonstrated through greater than 97% removal of a surrogate water contaminant, 25 μM methyl orange dye, with an 8 V applied potential. Furthermore, we show that laser-reduced GO membranes can be further tuned with the addition of p-phenylenediamine binding molecules to decrease the sheet resistance to 54 Ω/□.