Bottom-up synthesis of 2D membranes

2D nanoporous membranes show promising applicability in water purification, desalination, fuel cells and green energy production. Compared to commercially available polymer membranes, the atomically thin nature of 2D membranes allows great improvement of the permeability, known as ultra-permeability, while maintaining its high selectivity by means of well controlled pore size and edge functionality.

The controlled fabrication of nanopore arrays in 2D materials such as graphene, MoS2 and hBN is still not a scalable process. In our lab, we have fabricated 2D nanoporous membranes via a bottom-up approach using polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). By varying the monomer structure and membrane fabrication conditions, a series of membranes with different pore size and edge functionality can be obtained.

Current research is focused on increasing the pore density and membrane post-functionalization, thus further improving separation performance. We characterize all our films using techniques like XPS, AFM, SEM as well as others.