Synchronous Engineering for Biomimetic Murray Porous Membranes Using Isocyanate



Xueyuan Liu, Huiqing Wu*, and Peiyi Wu*. Synchronous Engineering for Biomimetic Murray Porous Membranes Using Isocyanate. Nano Lett. 2022, 22, 3077-3086.




Highly permselective and durable membranes are desirable for massive separation applications. However, currently most membranes prepared using nonsolvent-induced phase separation (NIPS) suffer from low permeability and a high fouling tendency due to the great challenges in a rational design and also practical approach for membrane optimization. Inspired by the natural Murray network from vascular plants, we developed a hierarchical membrane via a straightforward yet robust strategy, using isocyanate as a multifunctional additive. Thanks to the integrated functions of a phase separation regulator, blowing agent, cross-linker, and functionalization anchor of isocyanate, our strategy is featured as a perfect combination of a phase separation and chemical reaction, and it enables synchronous engineering of the membrane hierarchy on porosity and components. The representative membrane exhibits superior water permeance (334 L/m2·h·bar), protein retention (>98%), and antifouling ability (flux recover ratio 98%). This work highlights a versatile path for pursuing a highly enhanced performance of NIPS-made membranes, from the fancy perspective of Murray bionics.