Highly Selective and pH-Stable Reverse Osmosis Membranes Prepared via Layered Interfacial Polymerization

Min Gyu Shin, Wansuk Choi, Jung Hyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrathin and smooth polyamide (PA) reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have attracted significant interest due to their potential advantages of high permeance and low fouling propensity. Although a layered interfacial polymerization (LIP) technique aided by the insertion of a polyelec-trolyte interlayer has proven effective in fabricating ultrathin and uniform membranes, the RO performance and pH stability of the fabricated LIP membrane remain inadequate. In this study, a poly(piperazineamide) (PIPA) layer prepared via interfacial polymerization (IP) was employed as an interlayer to overcome the limitations of the prototype LIP method. Similar to the control polyelectrolyte-interlayered LIP membrane, the PIPA-interlayered LIP (pLIP) membrane had a much thinner (~20 nm) and smoother selective layer than the membrane fabricated via conventional IP due to the highly surface-confined and uniform LIP reaction. The pLIP membrane also exhibited RO performance exceeding that of the control LIP and conventional IP-assembled membranes, by enabling denser monomer deposition and a more confined interfacial reaction. Importantly, the chem-ically crosslinked PIPA interlayer endowed the pLIP membrane with higher pH stability than the control polyelectrolyte interlayer. The proposed strategy enables the fabrication of high-performance and pH-stable PA membranes using hydrophilic supports, which can be applied to other separation processes, including osmosis-driven separation and organic solvent filtration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb


  • Desalination
  • Interfacial polymerization
  • Interlayer
  • Layered interfacial polymerization
  • PH stability
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Thin film composite membrane
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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