Direct incorporation of silver nanoparticles onto thin-film composite membranes via arc plasma deposition for enhanced antibacterial and permeation performance

Sang Hee Park, Sang Hoon Kim, Sung Joon Park, Sungmin Ryoo, Kyoungja Woo, Jong Suk Lee, Taek Seung Kim, Hee-Deung Park, Hosik Park, You In Park, Jinhan Cho, Jung-hyun Lee

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43 Citations (Scopus)


We report on a new technique that incorporates silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) onto polyamide (PA) thin film composite (TFC) reverse osmosis membranes via arc plasma deposition (APD) to impart antibacterial properties and simultaneously improve membrane performance. APD allows the direct deposition of AgNPs under vacuum dry condition, overcoming the drawbacks of the conventional wet-chemical methods. AgNPs (~7.6 nm in diameter) were uniformly distributed without aggregation throughout the PA selective layer with some partially implanted into the PA matrix. Ag loading could be tuned by simply adjusting the number of APD purse shots. The deposited AgNPs exhibited good leaching stability, presumably due to the strong Ag-PA chemical interaction and partially buried AgNP morphology. The resulting Ag-incorporated TFC (Ag-TFC) membrane showed the strong and long-lasting antibacterial properties for both gram-negative and -positive bacteria. Simultaneously, the Ag-TFC membrane exhibited an enhancement in water flux of approximately 40% without deterioration in NaCl rejection. These performance changes were tentatively attributed to the partial destruction of the PA layer under the high energetic APD condition along with the increased membrane hydrophilicity. Hence, the APD process provides a simple and effective route to modify membranes with functional NPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1



  • Antibacterial property
  • Arc plasma deposition
  • Biofouling
  • Polyamide thin film composite membrane
  • Silver nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

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