Achieving high permeability and enhanced selectivity for Angstrom-scale separations using artificial water channel membranes.

Academic Article


  • Synthetic polymer membranes, critical to diverse energy-efficient separations, are subject to permeability-selectivity trade-offs that decrease their overall efficacy. These trade-offs are due to structural variations (e.g., broad pore size distributions) in both nonporous membranes used for Angstrom-scale separations and porous membranes used for nano to micron-scale separations. Biological membranes utilize well-defined Angstrom-scale pores to provide exceptional transport properties and can be used as inspiration to overcome this trade-off. Here, we present a comprehensive demonstration of such a bioinspired approach based on pillar[5]arene artificial water channels, resulting in artificial water channel-based block copolymer membranes. These membranes have a sharp selectivity profile with a molecular weight cutoff of ~ 500 Da, a size range challenging to achieve with current membranes, while achieving a large improvement in permeability (~65 L m-2 h-1 bar-1 compared with 4-7 L m-2 h-1 bar-1) over similarly rated commercial membranes.
  • Authors

  • Shen, Yue-Xiao
  • Song, Woochul
  • Barden, D Ryan
  • Ren, Tingwei
  • Lang, Chao
  • Feroz, Hasin
  • Henderson, Codey B
  • Saboe, Patrick O
  • Tsai, Daniel
  • Yan, Hengjing
  • Butler, Peter J
  • Bazan, Guillermo C
  • Phillip, William A
  • Hickey, Robert J
  • Cremer, Paul S
  • Vashisth, Harish
  • Kumar, Manish
  • Publication Date

  • June 12, 2018
  • Published In


  • Aquaporins
  • Computer Simulation
  • Detergents
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Liposomes
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Molecular Weight
  • Permeability
  • Polymers
  • Porosity
  • Salts
  • Water
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 2294
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 1