Photo-switchable membranes constructed from graphene oxide/star-PDMS nanocomposites for gas permeation control

Abdalrahman U. Alrayyes, Yaoxin Hu, Rico F. Tabor, Huanting Wang, Kei Saito

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6 Citations (Scopus)


A novel, photo-responsive membrane based on a star-shaped polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer and graphene-based nanosheets was for the first time designed and fabricated for controlling gas permeation. The sub-60 nm thick membrane exhibited continuous photo-reversible gas permeance control when irradiated with UV light of variable wavelengths. By optimising the nanosheet loading and nanosheet-polymer interface, the defect-free membrane demonstrated a satisfactory gas separation performance towards CO2and C3H8, allowing the membrane to potentially be useful as a photoresponsive coating for applications such in modern plant cultivation technologies. The effect of the nanosheets on the photo-triggering mechanism, a [2 + 2] cycloaddition reaction, was investigated, which revealed that the presence of the nanosheets improved the polymerisation reaction, but hindered the de-polymerisation reaction. Overall, this work provides a new opportunity for the production and investigation of a new class of photo-responsive two-dimensional nanocomposite membranes for highly controlled molecular/ion sieving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21167-21174
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2021

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