Surface modification of reverse osmosis desalination membranes by thin-film coatings deposited by initiated chemical vapor deposition
Özaydın İnce, Gözde and Matin, Asif and Khan, Zafarullah and Zaidi, S. M. Javaid and Gleason, Karen K. (2013) Surface modification of reverse osmosis desalination membranes by thin-film coatings deposited by initiated chemical vapor deposition. Thin Solid Films, 539 . pp. 181-187. ISSN 0040-6090
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2013.04.133
Thin-film polymeric reverse osmosis membranes, due to their high permeation rates and good salt rejection capabilities, are widely used for seawater desalination. However, these membranes are prone to biofouling, which affects their performance and efficiency. In this work, we report a method to modify the membrane surface without damaging the active layer or significantly affecting the performance of the membrane. Amphiphilic copolymer films of hydrophilic hydroxyethylmethacrylate and hydrophobic perfluorodecylacrylate (PFA) were synthesized and deposited on commercial RO membranes using an initiated chemical vapor deposition technique which is a polymer deposition technique that involves free-radical polymerization initiated by gas-phase radicals. Relevant surface characteristics such as hydrophilicity and roughness could be systematically controlled by varying the polymer chemistry. Increasing the hydrophobic PFA content in the films leads to an increase in the surface roughness and hydrophobicity. Furthermore, the surface morphology studies performed using the atomic forcemicroscopy showthat as the thickness of the coating increases average surface roughness increases. Using this knowledge, the coating thickness and chemistry were optimized to achieve high permeate flux and to reduce cell attachment. Results of the static bacterial adhesion tests show that the attachment of bacterial cells is significantly reduced on the coated membranes.
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