Conductive nanothick gold on hydrophilic polymeric nanomembranes

Conference Dates

March 5-10, 2017


The properties of separation membranes have been predicted and proven to be outstanding when their thickness approaches the dimensions of the molecules being separated. Ultrafast diffusion and high selectivity of such nanomembranes promise significant economic benefits by fewer and shorter processes with lower pressures. However, their widespread and industrial application is commonly impaired by poor biocompatibility and laborious, costly fabrication of currently used materials. Here we present the fabrication of self-supporting, hydrophilic, permeable nanomembranes from a thermosetting resin. A facile spin-coating procedure is employed which can be altered to yield two different kinds of porosity: (i) diffusion channels intrinsic to the covalently crosslinked resin network allowing small molecule permeation and (ii) perforations of defined geometric shape and size suitable for biomacromolecule separations. We show that the permeability of type (i) can be tuned by adjusting the resin component concentrations whereas perforations in type (ii) are introduced by a phase separation approach. Their remarkable features make nanomembranes, in particular biocompatible ones, very attractive materials for fast (bio-)sensing or functional bio-composite materials. In this respect, we furthermore show that small molecule separation nanomembranes can be rendered electrically conductive by coating with a thin gold layer whilst permeability is preserved.

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