Article published in Materials Chemistry Frontiers

Congratulations to Tom for his paper “Dual-Template Approach to Hierarchically Porous Polymer Membranes” which has just been published as a Hot Article in Materials Chemistry Frontiers and selected for the Inside Front Cover image.

This work investigated the use of two templates as part of the manufacture of poly(ethersulfone) membranes by the non-solvent induced phase separation method. Control membranes were produced using a surfactant as the only additive, to produce a morphology with a dense skin-layer above a layer of larger finger-like vertical pores. Upon addition of a second small molecule template the microstructure at the 1 μm scale shows a distinct change from a closed structure to an open, more fibrous morphology. The effects of this microstructural change on key membrane properties are studied, with a profound increase being observed on the water permeability, which is further raised by subsequent removal of the small molecule from the product membrane.

Figure 1a shows the poor connectivity of the skin layer of a membrane templated with only F127, compared to the fibrous structure of a membrane templated with both F127 and PABA shown in Figure 1b

Dual-Template Approach to Hierarchically Porous Polymer Membranes, Thomas J.F. Southern & Rachel C.Evans, Materials Chemistry Frontiers 2020,

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