Block copolymer based novel magnetic mixed matrix membranes-magnetic modulation of water permeation by irreversible structural changes

Lakshmeesha Upadhyaya, Mona Semsarilar, Damien Quémener, Rodrigo Fernández-Pacheco, Gema Martinez, Reyes Mallada, Isabel M. Coelhoso, Carla A.M. Portugal, João G. Crespo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution focuses on understanding the effect of magnetic field intensity on the performance of novel hydrophilic and hydrophobic mixed matrix membranes (MMMs). The hydrophilic MMMs were made up of polymeric nanoparticles (PNPs) that were synthesized through polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) and iron oxide nanoparticles prepared in presence of poly (methacrylic acid)-b-poly quaternized (2-dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate. The hydrophobic MMMs were prepared by the addition of iron oxide nanoparticles with different surface properties to a linear poly (methacrylic acid)-b-poly (methylmethacrylate) diblock copolymer dissolved in tetrahydrofuran (THF). Three different types of hydrophilic membranes were prepared with polymeric nanoparticles of different morphologies (spherical, vermicular and vesicular). In case of the hydrophobic membranes, six different membranes containing different iron oxide core coated with different stabilizers such as poly (methacrylic acid), quaternized poly(2-dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate and meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid were prepared. An external magnetic field with intensity values up to 1.15 T was used for the permeation studies and the results were compared with those obtained in the absence of magnetic field. The collected data indicate an increase in the water flux of up to 16% and 29% under the magnetic field for hydrophobic and hydrophilic membranes, respectively. The STEM analyses suggest that the magnetic nanoparticles move within the membrane structure during the application of the magnetic field. This displacement/rearrangement causes constant changes in the membrane structure (structure of the active layer) and consequently on the membrane permeability. These results suggest that the application of the magnetic field could be used as a pretreatment step to obtain high flux membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Block copolymers
  • Magnetic field
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Membrane permeability
  • Non-solvent induced phase separation
  • Polymerization-induced self-assembly


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