A Novel Reverse Osmosis Carbon Nanotube Composite Membranes: Preparation and Characterization

A Novel Reverse Osmosis Carbon Nanotube Composite Membranes: Preparation and Characterization

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Since invented by Iijima in 1991 [1], CNTs have become important materials in many aspects, due to their unique structural, mechanical, electrical and physicochemical properties [2]. Currently CNT containing materials are developed and evaluated for many different applications including sensors, electronics, actuators, drug delivery vehicles and new composites [3]. Unfortunately, CNTs typically exist as ropes or bundles of 10-30 nm in diameter because of strong van der Waals interactions that results in stacking and entangling; these phenomena have slowed down the applications of CNTs [4-5]. To overcome this problem it is beneficial to perform covalent surface modification and functionalization of CNTs to achieve homogenous dispersion of CNTs in polymer matrices for high quality nanocomposites [6]. Composite membranes containing CNTs are very promising, due to the predicted very high flux for water and gas. These exceptionally high transport rates have been attributed to the inherent molecular smoothness of the nanotubes [7]. Previous work to develop CNT membranes have been performed, Hinds et al. and Majumder et al. fabricated a well ordered CNTs membrane consisting of aligned multiwalled CNTs [8-9], Holt et al. have constructed a nanotube-Si3N4 composite membranes using CVD technique [10]. The results obtained are promising, however, the methods to prepare the CNT membranes are very tedious and time consuming; an up-scaling at competitive costs seems impossible. Herein, we report for the first time the facile preparation of thin-film-composite reverse osmosis membranes containing open SWCNTs. For membrane preparation the state-of the-art interfacial polymerization of trimesoylchloride (TMC) and phenylene diamine (PDA) first intr...


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...n of nanocomposites. JACS 2003; 125(51):16015-16024.
[17] Gabriel G, Sauthier G, Fraxedas J, Moreno-Manãs M, Martínez, Miravitlles C, et al. Preparation and characterization of single-walled carbon nanotubes functionalised with amines. Carbon 2006; 44(10):1891-1897.
[18] Meyer JC, Paillet M, Michel T, More´ac A, Neumann A, Duesberg GS, et al. aman Modes of Index-Identified Freestanding Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes. Phys.Rev.Lett 2005; 95:217401(1)- 217401(4).
[19] Mukherjee A, Combs R, Chattopadhyay, Abmayr DW, Engel PS, Billups WE. Attachment of nitrogen and oxygen centered radicals to single-walled carbon nanotube salts. Chem.Mater 2008; 20:7339-7343.
[20] Kwak S-Y, Jung SG, Kim SH. Structure-motion-performance relationship of flux enhanced reverse osmosis membranes composed of aromatic polyamides thin films. Environ. Sci. Technol 2001; 35:4334-4340.



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