Microstructures and performances of pegylated polysulfone membranes from an in situ synthesized solution via vapor induced phase separation approach

Li Jing Zhu*, Hai Ming Song, Gang Wang, Zhi Xiang Zeng, Cun Ting Zhao, Qun Ji Xue, Xiao Ping Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In situ pegylated (PEGylated) microporous membranes have been extensively reported using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based polymers as blending additives. Alternatively, free standing PEGylated polysulfone (PSf) membranes with excellent hydrophilicity and antifouling ability were directly fabricated from polysulfone/poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PSf/PEGMA) solutions after in situ cross-linking polymerization without any treatment via vapor induced phase separation (VIPS) process for the first time. The microstructures and performances of the resulting membranes shifted regularly by adjusting exposure time of the liquid film in humid air. With increasing exposure time, plenty of worm-like networks formed and distributed on membrane surfaces, meanwhile cross-sectional morphology changed from asymmetric finger-like microporous structure to symmetric cellular-like structure, resulting in better mechanical stability. As the exposure time raised from 0 to 5 min, the surface coverage of carboxyl groups increased from ∼1.1 to 4.0 mol%, leading to the decrease in water contact angle from ∼63 to 27° and the increase in water flux from ∼110 to 512 L m−2 h−1. In addition, at prolonged exposure time, increasing hydrophilic PEG chains migrated to membrane surfaced and repelled the adsorption and deposition of protein, resulting in better antifouling ability. The findings of this study offer a facile and high efficient strategy for flexible design and fabrication of the in situ PEGylated membranes with desirable structures and performances in large scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume515
Early online date9 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Antifouling
  • In situ PEGylation
  • In situpolymerization
  • Polysulfone membranes
  • Vapor induced phase separation

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