Applied Surface Science, Vol.398, 103-115, 2017
Design of poly(vinylidene fluoride)-g-p(hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) membrane via surface modification for enhanced fouling resistance and release property
Thermo-sensitive polymer poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm), hydrophilic polymer poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) and copolymer p(hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-Nisopropylacrylamide) [P(HEMA-co-NIPAAm)] were synthesized onto poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membrane via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) in order to improve not only fouling resistance but also fouling release property. The physicochemical properties of membranes including hydrophilicity, morphology and roughness were examined by contact angle analyzer, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM), respectively. The antifouling property of membranes was improved remarkably after surface modification according to protein and bacterial adhesion testing, and filtration experiment. Minimum protein adsorption and bacterial adhesion were both obtained on PVDF-g-P(HEMA-co-NIPAAm) membrane, with reduction by 44% and 71% respectively compared to the pristine membrane. The minimum bacterial cells after detachment at 25 degrees C were observed on the PVDF-g-P(HEMA-co-NIPAAm) membrane with the detachment rate of 77%, indicating high fouling release property. The filtration testing indicated that the copolymer modified membrane exhibited high resistance to protein fouling and, the foulant on the surface was released and removed easily by washing, suggesting high fouling release and easy-cleaning capacity. This study provides useful insight in the combined "fouling resistance" and "fouling release" property of P(HEMA-co-NIPAAm) for PVDF membrane modification, even for other types of the membrane in wide application. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:PVDF membrane;Fouling resistance;Fouling release;Thermo-sensitive polymer;Bacterial adhesion