Impact of Interfacial Engineering in Water Purification Via Vapor Deposited Polymers


Amelia Servi


Hossein Sojoudi, Amelia Servi, Simon Choong, Gregory Rutledge, Gareth H. McKinley, and Karen K. Gleason

Author Affiliation: 

Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT


We study the impact of interfacial engineering via vapor deposited polymers in the performance of water filtration membranes. In the first part of this work, we developed a new membrane using initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) of poly(divinyl benzene) (pDVB) on commercial phase-inversion nylon membranes. We obtained up to 22 L/m2/hr permeate flux and maintained greater than 99.99% salt rejection lasted over 30 hours of testing in a lab-scale DCMD system. In the second part of this work, we investigated the impact of various vapor deposited polymers on the wettability and eventual water flux of electrospun mat membranes. A thin layer of hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and perfluoro decylacrylate (PFDA) were deposited on the membranes and resulted in ~ 80 ° decrease and ~ 20 ° increase in the water contact angle when compared to bare electrospun mat membranes, respectively. We found that the surface chemistry affects the wetting of the electrospun mat membranes and the water flux at low operating pressures.