Fastest possible filtration rate
A key advantage of the tiny dimensions is that the thinner a membrane, the lower its permeation resistance. And the lower the resistance, the higher the energy-efficiency of the filtration process. “With such atomically thin membranes we can reach maximal permeation for a membrane of a given pore size,” says Celebi. This should speed up filtration enormously, the researchers hope.
However, before these applications are ready for use on an industrial scale or for the production of functional waterproof clothing, the manufacturing process needs to be further developed. To investigate the fundamental science, the researchers worked with tiny pieces of membrane with a surface area of less than one hundredth of a square millimeter. The first goal now is to produce larger membranes and study various filtration mechanisms.
Author: Fabio Bergamin/ETH Life
Ultimate Permeation across Atomically Thin Porous Graphene, Celebi K., Buchheim J., Wyss R.M., Droudian A., Gasser P., Shorubalko I., Kye J.I., Lee C., Park H.G., Science, 2014, 344: 289-344, doi: 10.1126/science.1249097