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Enhanced gas permeation through graphene nanocomposites

journal contribution
posted on 2015-06-18, 00:00 authored by K J Berean, J Z Ou, M Nour, M R Field, M M Y A Alsaif, Yichao Wang, R Ramanathan, V Bansal, S Kentish, C M Doherty, A J Hill, C McSweeney, R B Kaner, K Kalantar-Zadeh
The use of membranes for gas permeation and phase separation offers many distinct advantages over other more energy-dependent processes. The operational efficiencies of these membranes rely heavily on high gas permeability. Here, we report membranes with significantly increased permeability without a considerable decrease in mechanical strength or selectivity, synthesized from a polymer nanocomposite that incorporates graphene and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). These graphene-PDMS nanocomposite membranes were able to enhance the gas permeation of N < inf > 2 < /inf > , CO < inf > 2 < /inf > , Ar, and CH < inf > 4 < /inf > in reference to pristine PDMS membranes. This is achieved by creating interfacial voids between the graphene flakes and polymer chains, which increases the fractional free volume within the nanocomposites, giving rise to an increase in permeation. An optimal loading of graphene was found to be 0.25 wt%, while greater loading created agglomeration of the graphene flakes, hence reducing the effective surface area. We present the enhancements that the membranes can provide to sensing and phase separation applications. We show that these nanocomposites are near transparent to CO < inf > 2 < /inf > gas molecules in sensing measurements. This study offers a new area of research for graphene-based nanocomposites.

History

Journal

Journal of physical chemistry C

Volume

119

Issue

24

Pagination

13700 - 13712

Publisher

ACS Publications

Location

Washington, D.C.

ISSN

1932-7447

eISSN

1932-7455

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, American Chemical Society