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Effect of Ion Beam Irradiation on Two Nanofiltration Water Treatment Membranes

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Ion beam irradiation has long been recognized as an effective method for the synthesis and modification of diverse materials, including polymers. Ion beam irradiation is the bombardment of a substance with energetic ions. When the ions penetrate through the surface of a membrane, they may eliminate tall peaks and deep valleys, resulting in an overall reduction in surface roughness. Two nanofiltration membranes, one with a sulfonated polysulfone selective layer and the other with an aromatic polyamide selective layer, were used to study the effects of ion beam irradiation on surface morphology, microstructure, and performance. A beam of 25 keV H+ ions with four irradiation fluences (1 × 1013 ions/cm2, 5 × 1013 ions/cm2, 1 × 1014 ions/cm2 and 5 × 1014 ions/cm2) was used for ion beam irradiation of the membrane. Atomic face microscopy (AFM) analysis show that the roughness of the membranes decreased after irradiation. An increase in flux after ion beam irradiation was also observed. Hydrophobicity, pore size distribution, and selectivity of the membrane were not affected by ion beam irradiation.
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Keywords: Ion fluence; irradiation; membrane surface modifications; surface properties; transport properties

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA

Publication date: 01 December 2008

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