Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Blending is the Trick: Tailored Pores in Block Copolymer Membranes


A simple trick generates custom-tailored pores. Maryam Radjabian has developed a surprisingly uncomplicated method for obtaining the desired pore size in block copolymer membranes. The results of her research were published in the distinguished international scientific journal Advanced Materials.

Whether it’s water treatment or virus and protein separation, porous membranes are utilised in many different separation functions. What is particularly fascinating and highly promising is isoporous membrane production from block copolymers.

Tailored Pore Sizes in Integral Asymmetric Membranes Formed by Blends of Block Copolymers

[HZG, Abetz]

Under suitable conditions, block copolymers can form highly ordered structures, ideally uniform pores, through self-assembly (see “Block Copolymer Information” below).

In order to develop effective membranes for special separation functions, the correct pore size is crucial. This objective presents the greatest challenge: how must the block copolymer be composed in order to obtain the desired pore size?

To date, for every newly developed isoporous membrane a special block copolymer was synthesized, which then resulted in the necessary pore size. In cooperation with the director of Geesthacht’s Institute of Polymer Research, Prof. Volker Abetz, Dr. Maryam Radjabian has now developed a time-saving and surprisingly simple method: by blending of two block copolymers, the pore size can be adjusted via the blending ratio.

The two block copolymers consist of the same monomers but differ in the number of repetition units in the blocks. A different pore size then arises in the particular membrane cast from each block copolymer. Dr. Radjabian’s concept of obtaining an average pore size by blending two block copolymers has been corroborated in experiments.

This opens up entirely new possibilities for designing new membranes. The scientist at the Institute of Polymer Research explains, “There is a substantial advantage in not having to synthesize a precisely suitable block copolymer to obtain the desired pore size, but in simply mixing two approximately suitable copolymers together.”

Block Copolymer Information:
Block copolymers consist of at least two types of monomers, each covalently linked together as polymer blocks (a group of the same monomers) in the form of a macromolecule. Because the blocks of macromolecules are selected so that they are not mixable (“immiscible”), self-assembly of the macromolecules takes place through rejection reactions (microphase separation).

Isoporous Membranes can be produced from a block copolymer solution under defined conditions by utilising the phase inversion principle. The foundations for this research were developed within the HZG-coordinated European Union project SELFMEM (2009-2012).

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201404309: Tailored Pore Sizes in Integral Asymmetric Membranes Formed by Blends of Block Copolymers, Maryam Radjabian, Volker Abetz
Advanced Materials 2015, 27, 352-355, (online 20 Nov.V 2014)

Weitere Informationen: - website HZG -- Publication

Dr. Torsten Fischer | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires
19.03.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matter
15.03.2018 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>