American Chemical Society
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Mass Transport via In-Plane Nanopores in Graphene Oxide Membranes

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posted on 2022-06-10, 14:11 authored by Tobias Foller, Lukas Madauß, Dali Ji, Xiaojun Ren, K. Kanishka H. De Silva, Tiziana Musso, Masamichi Yoshimura, Henning Lebius, Abdenacer Benyagoub, Priyank V. Kumar, Marika Schleberger, Rakesh Joshi
Angstrom-confined solvents in 2D laminates can travel through interlayer spacings, through gaps between adjacent sheets, and via in-plane pores. Among these, experimental access to investigate the mass transport through in-plane pores is lacking. Our experiments allow an understanding of this mass transport via the controlled variation of oxygen functionalities, size and density of in-plane pores in graphene oxide membranes. Contrary to expectations, our transport experiments show that higher in-plane pore densities may not necessarily lead to higher water permeability. We observed that membranes with a high in-plane pore density but a low amount of oxygen functionalities exhibit a complete blockage of water. However, when water–ethanol mixtures with a weaker hydrogen network are used, these membranes show an enhanced permeation. Our combined experimental and computational results suggest that the transport mechanism is governed by the attraction of the solvents toward the pores with functional groups and hindered by the strong hydrogen network of water formed under angstrom confinement.