Graphene-directed supramolecular assembly of multifunctional polymer hydrogel membranes

Yufei Wang, Sheng Chen, Ling Qiu, Kun Wang, Huanting Wang, George Philip Simon, Dan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polymer-based nanoporous hydrogel membranes hold great potential for a range of applications including molecular fi ltration/separation, controlled drug release, and as sensors and actuators. However, to be of practical utility, polymer membranes generally need to be fabricated as ultrathin yet mechanically robust, have a large-area yet be defect-free and in some cases, their structure needs the capability to adapt to certain stimuli. These stringent and sometimes self-confl icting requirements make it very challenging to manufacture such bulk nanostructures in a controllable, scalable and costeffective manner. Here, a versatile approach to the fabrication of multifunctional polymer-based hydrogel membranes is demonstrated by a single step involving fi ltration of an aqueous dispersion containing chemically converted graphene (CCG) and a polymer. With CCG uniquely serving as a membrane- and pore-forming directing agent and as a physical cross-linker, a range of water soluble polymers can be readily processed into nanoporous hydrogel membranes through supramolecular interactions. With the interconnected CCG network as a robust and porous scaffold, the membrane nanostructure can easily be fi ne-tuned to suit different applications simply by controlling the chemistry and concentration of the incorporated polymer. This work provides a simple and versatile platform for the design and fabrication of new adaptive supramolecular membranes for a variety of applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126 - 133
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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