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Effects of Substrate on Interfacial Polymerization: Tuning the Hydrophobicity via Polyelectrolyte Deposition
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  • Xin Liu,
  • Ge Liu,
  • Weiyi Li,
  • Qinyu Wang,
  • Baolin Deng
Xin Liu

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Weiyi Li
Southern University of Science and Technology
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Qinyu Wang
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Baolin Deng
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Interfacial polymerization (IP) has been the key method for fabricating thin film composite (TFC) membranes. However, the role of the substrate surface hydrophilicity in the IP-film formation remains a controversial issue to be further addressed. This study characterized the IP films formed on a series of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) substrates whose hydrophilicity were varied via different approaches, including the alkaline treatment and the deposition of various polycations. It was revealed that delamination could occur when the IP film was formed on a relatively hydrophilic surface; the integrity of the TFC membranes was substantially improved owing to the modification of polyelectrolyte deposition. On the other hand, the characterization indicated that the TFC membrane could have an enhanced efficiency when the substrate was relatively hydrophilic. It is established that the polyelectrolyte deposition can be exploited to effectively tune the substrate surface hydrophobicity, thereby increasing the degrees of freedom for optimizing TFC membranes fabrication.