Activation of PVDF membranes through facile hydroxylation of the polymeric dope

Samer Al-Gharabli, Musthafa O. Mavukkandy, Joanna Kujawa, Suzana Pereira Nunes, Hassan A. Arafat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A method comprising a two-step alkali/acid treatment of poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) polymer is developed for the fabrication of flat-sheet PVDF membranes functionalized with labile hydroxyl groups. This method involves the application of a short-duration modification in alkali medium (5% KOH). Extensive characterizations were performed on the prepared membranes. Modification of the polymer altered the crystallinity of the PVDF from a mixture of both α and β phases to a predominant β phase. Lower work of adhesion of the modified membrane indicated the formation of a more hydrophobic and wetting-resistant membrane surface. Centrifugation of the polymer dope after the modification had a pronounced impact on the properties of the resultant membranes. This protocol could be utilized in fine-tuning the properties of PVDF membranes for various target-specific applications such as membrane distillation. This method can also be used in functionalizing PVDF membranes further by exploiting the labile –OH group present on the membrane surface.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4219-4231
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 30 2017


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