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Diffusion Control of Porous Membrane by Modifying the Nanopore Properties

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We have investigated the diffusion of various solvents on nanoporous membranes with various pore size and surface energy. We have modified the size of pore channel and surface energy of porous membrane through grafting different sized alkyl chain on inorganic membranes. Typically, disc type zirconia membranes with pore size of 3 nm and silica ones with 1 nm pore were purchased from Inocermic Co. Ltd. (Germany), and the surface and pore channel was modified by either octyltriethoxysilane (OTS) with chain length ∼1 nm or pentyltriethoxysilane (PTS) with chain length ∼0.5 nm. The water contact angles of both OTS and PTS grafted membrane were larger than 100 indicating the hydrophobically modified surface. Contact angles of hydrophilic and hydrophobic solvents were also examined to obtain exact surface energy (SV) of grafted membrane, and the values were determined to be 56.3, 45.3, and 42.2 mN/m for ungrafted, PTS- and OTS-grafted membrane, respectively. The solvent diffusion patterns were evaluated by measuring the concentration gradient of small dye molecule, azobenzene. The diffusion coefficients of various solvents were measured on the basis of Fick's diffusion law. It was concluded that the diffusivity is dependent on the pore size for solvent with low surface tension and on the SV value for solvent with high surface tension.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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