Multifunctional wafer-scale graphene membranes for fast ultrafiltration and high permeation gas separation

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Science Advances  23 Nov 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 11, eaau0476
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau0476


Reliable and large-scale manufacturing routes for perforated graphene membranes in separation and filtration remain challenging. We introduce two manufacturing pathways for the fabrication of highly porous, perforated graphene membranes with sub–100-nm pores, suitable for ultrafiltration and as a two-dimensional (2D) scaffold for synthesizing ultrathin, gas-selective polymers. The two complementary processes—bottom up and top down—enable perforated graphene membranes with desired layer number and allow ultrafiltration applications with liquid permeances up to 5.55 × 10−8 m3 s−1 Pa−1 m−2. Moreover, thin-film polymers fabricated via vapor-liquid interfacial polymerization on these perforated graphene membranes constitute gas-selective polyimide graphene membranes as thin as 20 nm with superior permeances. The methods of controlled, simple, and reliable graphene perforation on wafer scale along with vapor-liquid polymerization allow the expansion of current 2D membrane technology to high-performance ultrafiltration and 2D material reinforced, gas-selective thin-film polymers.

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