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New Membrane Process: Geesthacht Researchers provide the desired polymer

Dr. Sofia Rangou, polymer scientist in Geesthacht, has succeeded in synthesizing the required starting product for a new process which has been developed by the University of Yale (USA) for the production of ultrathin membrane films from block copolymers. The highly-respected journal ACS-Nano recently published these results, which were achieved in cooperation with the University of Ioannina, Greece.

Dr. Sofia Rangou

Dr. Sofia Rangou at the Polymer Laboratory in Geesthacht. Photo: HZG/ Christian Schmid

Numerous research groups worldwide are conducting investigations into new methods for the production and optimation of membranes made up of long-chain macromolecules. Scientists at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut USA, have developed a new method of membrane production, the so-called electrospray deposition.

In this new process, tiny droplets of the polymer solution are sprayed onto a substrate under a certain electrical voltage. Very thin films can thus be produced, which are less than 100 nanometers thick. An extremely homogeneous surface structure is hereby created, in comparison to the conventional electrospinning technique in which the solution is applied in thin threads.

Dr. Sofia Rangou, polymer researcher in Geesthacht, has provided the block copolymer starting material for this process. As the scientist from the Department of Polymer Synthesis at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht explains: “We can produce custom made polymers according to special requirements. The particular challenge regarding the polymers being produced in our department, has been to exactly adjust the composition and the molecular weight of the block copolymers and to sythesize in sufficient quantities.” In the department, led by Dr. Volkan Filiz, polymers are synthesized to a scale of up to 100 grams.

Information block copolymer

Block copolymers consist of at least two monomer types, each existing as polymer blocks which are connected by covalent bonds as a macromolecule.

DOI: 10.1021/nn400279a: Continuous Equilibrated Growth of Ordered Block Copolymer Thin Films by Electrospray Deposition, ACS Nano (Web), 2013 March 1/ , Hu H, Rangou S, Kim M, Gopalan P, Filiz V, Avgeropoulos A, Osuji CO., Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut 06511, United States.


Dr. Sofia Rangou

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