Effect of ion beam irradiation on two nanofiltration water treatment membranes

Rama Chennamsetty, Isabel Escobar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ion beam irradiation has long been recognized as an effective method for the synthesis and modification of diverse materials, including polymers. Ion beam irradiation is the bombardment of a substance with energetic ions. When the ions penetrate through the surface of a membrane, they may eliminate tall peaks and deep valleys, resulting in an overall reduction in surface roughness. Two nanofiltration membranes, one with a sulfonated polysulfone selective layer and the other with an aromatic polyamide selective layer, were used to study the effects of ion beam irradiation on surface morphology, microstructure, and performance. A beam of 25keV H+ ions with four irradiation fluences (11013ions/cm2, 51013ions/cm2, 11014ions/cm2 and 51014ions/cm2) was used for ion beam irradiation of the membrane. Atomic face microscopy (AFM) analysis show that the roughness of the membranes decreased after irradiation. An increase in flux after ion beam irradiation was also observed. Hydrophobicity, pore size distribution, and selectivity of the membrane were not affected by ion beam irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4009-4029
Number of pages21
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the National Science Foundation grant CTS 03-31778. The authors acknowledge Dr. Peter Simpson (University of Western Ontario) and the Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory (University of Michigan) where irradiation was performed and Dr. Mark Wilf provided the membrane samples.


  • Ion fluence
  • Irradiation
  • Membrane surface modifications
  • Surface properties
  • Transport properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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