In this approach, polyelectrolyte film-coated nanofibrous silk fibroin (SF) nonwovens were prepared from the alternate deposition of positively charged polyethylenimine (PEI) and negatively charged SF using electrostatic layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembled technology. The composite membranes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. The SF-PEI multilayer-assembled nanofibers (less than five layers) were fine and uniform with the fiber diameter from 400 nm to 600 nm, and had very large surface area and high porosity (more than 70%). The amino groups of PEI were proved to be deposited onto SF nonwovens, which granted the coated nonwovens with potential applicability for copper ions adsorption. The PEI films coated SF substrate showed much higher copper ions adsorption capacity than that of ethanol treated SF nanofibers. Adding the number of PEI coated could enhance the Cu2+ adsorption capacity significantly. The maximum milligrams per gram of copper ions adsorbed reached 59.7 mg/g when the SF substrate was coated with 5 bilayers of SF-PEI. However, the copper ions adsorption capacity had no obvious change as the number of PEI continued to increase. These results suggest potential for PEL film-coated nanofibrous nonwovens as a new adsorbent for metal ions.
Field of Research
090404 Membrane and Separation Technologies MD Multidisciplinary
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