Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.589, 486-499, 2021
Constructing dense and hydrophilic forward osmosis membrane by cross-linking reaction of graphene quantum dots with monomers for enhanced selectivity and stability
This paper reports a novel thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) membrane with a dense, flat, and hydrophilic polyamide (PA) layer. The atypical PA structure was obtained by the cross-linking reaction of graphene oxide quantum dots containing amino groups (NH2-GOQDs) with triacyl chloride and polyamide oligomers. And the resulting TFN membrane showed a flat (small-scale ridge structure) and smooth surface. Meanwhile, the introduction of oxygen-containing and amino functional groups increased surface hydrophilicity. The reaction of amino groups on the NH2-GOQDs with acid chloride groups and the carboxyl groups (in the linear part of the polyamide) enhanced the degree of cross-linking of the PA layer, forming a compact surface. Owning to the dense surface structure, excellent hydrophilicity, and small water transmission distance, the optimized TFN membrane exhibited an enhanced water flux of 26.57 L.m(-2).h(-1) with a low reverse salt flux of 6.0 g.m(-2).h(-1). Furthermore, nano-indentation/scratch results showed the interface adhesion between substrate and PA layer was improved due to the physical anchoring of NH2-GOQDs in the substrate. And in the long-term FO test, the TFN membrane showed stable selectivity. This work proves that the targeted structural design of the PA layer at the nanoscale will have a positive impact on desalination field. (C) 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.