Polyanionic pH-responsive polystyrene-b-poly(4-vinyl pyridine-N-oxide) isoporous membranes

Rahul Shevate, Madhavan Karunakaran, Mahendra Kumar, Klaus-Viktor Peinemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Recently isoporous block copolymer (BCP) membranes obtained by non-solvent induced phase separation gained a lot of attention due to their highly ordered surface layer, high flux and superior separation properties. These polystyrene-b-poly-4-vinylpyridine (PS-b-P4VP) based membranes showed a strong flux dependence of pH; pores closed at low pH and opened at high pH. The pH-response could now be reversed by a simple post modification; pores are now opening at low pH and closing at high pH. The original membrane was transformed into a polyanionic pH responsive membrane in a one step chemical modification without affecting the isoporous surface morphology. A polystyrene-b-poly-4-vinylpyridine-N-oxide (PS-b-P4VPN-oxide) membrane is obtained by selective oxidation of the PS-b-P4VP membrane. The in situ generated peracid obtained by reacting acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide is employed for oxidation. Surprisingly not only the asymmetric membrane structure with the isoporous skin was retained, but also the mechanical and chemical membrane stability was improved significantly. The modified membranes are insoluble in solvents like DMF, NMP and DMSO. Two kinds of PS-b-P4VP based isoporous membranes are available now with reverse flux response to pH. This opens the door to new interesting charge based fractionations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Filtration and Separation
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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