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Engineering Polymer Membranes with Controlled Surface Patterns for Enhanced Water Treatment
 
 
 
 

Engineering Polymer Membranes with Controlled Surface Patterns for Enhanced Water Treatment

 
Prof. Yifu Ding
 
University of Colorado Boulder¸USA
 
 

Membrane-based separation technologies are promising to address global challenges in water shortage and environmental sustainability. However, improvements in membrane performances are needed to reduce levelized energy cost in water treatment. In this talk, I will discuss how lithography methods can be used to improve membrane efficiency by engineer controlled surface topography in liquid-based separation membranes. Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is used to create sub-micron surface patterns on both ultrafiltration (UF) and thin film composite membranes (TFC) membranes. Combining soft lithography with thermally-induced, or solvent-induced phase separation, microporous membranes with micron scale surface patterns can be fabricated. The presence of these patterns improves the mass transfer in the boundary layer which leads to enhanced antifouling performance of the membranes during active separation.