Morphology-properties relationship of gas plasma treated hydrophobic meso-porous membranes and their improved performance for desalination by membrane distillation

Dumée, Ludovic F., Alglave, Hortense, Chaffraix, Thomas, Lin, Bao, Magniez, Kevin and Schütz, Jürg 2016, Morphology-properties relationship of gas plasma treated hydrophobic meso-porous membranes and their improved performance for desalination by membrane distillation, Applied surface science, vol. 363, pp. 273-285, doi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.12.034.

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Title Morphology-properties relationship of gas plasma treated hydrophobic meso-porous membranes and their improved performance for desalination by membrane distillation
Author(s) Dumée, Ludovic F.ORCID iD for Dumée, Ludovic F. orcid.org/0000-0002-0264-4024
Alglave, Hortense
Chaffraix, Thomas
Lin, Bao
Magniez, Kevin
Schütz, Jürg
Journal name Applied surface science
Volume number 363
Start page 273
End page 285
Total pages 13
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-02-15
ISSN 0169-4332
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Technology
Chemistry, Physical
Materials Science, Coatings & Films
Physics, Applied
Physics, Condensed Matter
Chemistry
Materials Science
Physics
Surface plasma treatment
Surface texturing
Surface energy
Membrane distillation
Defluorination
SURFACE MODIFICATION
COMPOSITE MEMBRANES
POLYMER SURFACES
PTFE MEMBRANES
MICROSTRUCTURE
POLYPROPYLENE
SPECTROSCOPY
TEMPERATURE
IMPACT
Summary The impact on performance of the surface energy and roughness of membrane materials used for direct contact membrane distillation are critical but yet poorly investigated parameters. The capacity to alter the wettability of highly hydrophobic materials such as poly(tetra-fluoro-ethylene) (PTFE) by gas plasma treatments is reported in this paper. An equally important contribution from this investigation arises from illustrating how vaporized material from the treated sample participates after a short while in the composition of the plasma and fundamentally changes the result of surface chemistry processes. The water contact angle across the hydrophobic membranes is generally controlled by varying the plasma gas conditions, such as the plasma power, chamber pressure and irradiation duration. Changes to surface porosity and roughness of the bulk material as well as the surface chemistry, through specific and partial de-fluorination of the surface were detected and systematically studied by Fourier transform infra-red analysis and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that the rupture of fibrils, formed during membrane processing by thermal-stretching, led to the formation of a denser surface composed of nodules similar to these naturally acting as bridging points across the membrane material between fibrils. This structural change has a profound and impart a permanent effect on the permeation across the modified membranes, which was found to be enhanced by up to 10% for long plasma exposures while the selectivity of the membranes was found to remain unaffected by the treatment at a level higher than 99.99%. This is the first time that an investigation demonstrates how the permeation characteristics of these membranes is directly related to data from spectral, morphological and surface charge analyses, which provide new insights on the impact of plasma treatments on both, the surface charge and roughness, of PTFE porous materials.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.12.034
Field of Research 091205 Functional Materials
090404 Membrane and Separation Technologies
Socio Economic Objective 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier B.V.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083227

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Institute for Frontier Materials
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