(63c) Bioinspired to Multifunctional Nanostructured Membranes
The development of responsive, multifunctional materials and membranes for environmental and energy-related applications requires a high level of control of both the characteristics of the base polymeric or inorganic support layer, as well as, its corresponding surface properties. The special features for membrane processes that make them attractive for industrial applications are their compactness, ease of fabrication, operation, and modular design. Although membrane processes such as, Reverse Osmosis, Nanofiltration, Ultrafiltration, and Microfiltration have provided many successful applications ranging from high quality water production to material recovery, but incorporation of nanostructured aspects with tunable properties (learning from life sciences) in membranes has added immense value in the area of separations, reactions, water applications, and green synthesis. The use of macromolecules, such as, poly-acrylic acid (PAA), poly-glutamic acid (PLGA) provide pH responsive behavior through helix-coil transitions, whereas poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (pNIPAAm) provides temperature responsive behavior. Further, one can synthesize catalytic metal nanoparticles in the functionalized membrane for water remediation applications. The presentation will include bio-inspired functionalized membranes with tunable and responsive properties, layer-by layer assembly, synthesis of metal nanoparticles and metal films in membranes, and applications (including joint work with industries) in water/energy area. Special acknowledgement goes to his current and recent graduate/undergraduate students (Cassandra Porter, Minghui Gui, Li Xiao, Doug Davenport, Scott Lewis, S. Islam, Mike Detisch,). In addition to various industrial collaborators, NIH-NIEHS-SRC and NSF EPSCoR program provided high level financial support.