Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 545762
Title Growing to shrink: Nano-tunable polystyrene brushes inside 5 nm mesopores
Author(s) Merlet, Renaud B.; Amirilargani, Mohammad; Smet, Louis C.P.M. de; Sudhölter, Ernst J.R.; Nijmeijer, Arian; Winnubst, Louis
Source Journal of Membrane Science 572 (2019). - ISSN 0376-7388 - p. 632 - 640.
Department(s) Organic Chemistry
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) ARGET ATRP - Gamma alumina - Inorganic membrane - Organic solvent nanofiltration - Polystyrene brush

The development of controlled polymerization techniques in the last decade has enabled polymer brushes to be grown from inorganic substrates with precision. Less studied are brushes grown from concave geometries of high curvature, such as mesopores, despite their application potential in the separation sciences. The method used here, surface-initiated, activators-regenerated-by-electron-transfer, atom-transfer radical polymerization (SI-ARGET-ATRP), is used to grow a polystyrene brush grown from aluminum oxide pores of 5 nm diameter, to-date the most confined geometry in which ATRP has been conducted. The brush is characterized by TGA, AFM, and FTIR, the latter two methods applied specifically to the external brush. Additionally, permporometry as well as permeability and retention measurements are used to characterize the graft within the mesopores. We show that the brush length is tunable, that the brush length is solvent-dependent, and we also demonstrate the application potential of this hybrid material as an organic solvent nanofiltration membrane. This new class of membranes shows excellent performance: a toluene permeability of 2.0 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 accompanied by a 90% rejection of diphenylanthracene (MW 330 g mol−1).

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