Modulating molecular and nanoparticle transport in flexible polydimethylsiloxane membranes Article

Jiao, K, Graham, CL, Wolff, J et al. (2012). Modulating molecular and nanoparticle transport in flexible polydimethylsiloxane membranes . JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE, 401-402 25-32. 10.1016/j.memsci.2012.01.015

cited authors

  • Jiao, K; Graham, CL; Wolff, J; Iyer, RG; Kohli, P



  • The ability to fabricate flexible filtration membranes that can selectively separate particles of different sizes is of considerable interest. In this article, we describe a facile, reproducible and simple one-step method to produce pores in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membranes. We embedded micron-sized NaHCO 3 particles in 50μm thick PDMS films. After curing, the membranes were immersed in concentrated HCl acid. Pores were generated in the membrane by the evolution of CO 2 gas from the reaction of NaHCO 3 and HCl. High resolution scanning electron microscope images clearly reveal the presence of openings on the surface and the cross-section of the membranes. Fluorescence and back-scattered electron imaging of porous PDMS membrane with embedded gold nanoparticles and comparison with non-porous PDMS membranes provided unambiguous evidence of pores in the membrane. Transport studies of molecular fluoresceinate ions, ions (sodium and chloride) and 240nm polystyrene nanoparticles through these membranes demonstrate passable pores and existence of channels within the body of the membrane. Mechanically stretching the porous PDMS membrane and comparing the flow rates of fluoresceinate ions and the polystyrene beads through the stretched and unstretched membranes allowed a direct proof of the modulation of transport rate in the membranes. We show that stretching the membranes by 10% increases the flow rate of fluorescein molecules by 2.8 times and by a factor of approximately ∼40% for the polystyrene nanoparticles. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

publication date

  • May 15, 2012

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 25

end page

  • 32


  • 401-402