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.