Activation of PVDF membranes through facile hydroxylation of the polymeric dope
A. Al-Gharabli, M.O. Mavukkandy, J. Kujawa, S.P. Nunes, H.A. Arafat
Journal of Materials Research, volume 32, issue 22, pp. 4219-4231, (2017)
Microstructure, Polymer, Surface chemistry
A method comprising a two-step alkali/acid treatment of poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) polymer is developed for the fabrication of flat-sheet PVDF membranes functionalized with labile hydroxyl groups. This method involves the application of a short-duration modification in alkali medium (5% KOH). Extensive characterizations were performed on the prepared membranes. Modification of the polymer altered the crystallinity of the PVDF from a mixture of both α and β phases to a predominant β phase. Lower work of adhesion of the modified membrane indicated the formation of a more hydrophobic and wetting-resistant membrane surface. Centrifugation of the polymer dope after the modification had a pronounced impact on the properties of the resultant membranes. This protocol could be utilized in fine-tuning the properties of PVDF membranes for various target-specific applications such as membrane distillation. This method can also be used in functionalizing PVDF membranes further by exploiting the labile –OH group present on the membrane surface.
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