Researchers from HIT Achieved Significant Breakthroughs on Water Diode Janus Membranes


Reported by: Xiao Ke
Translated by: Qiao Xuechao
Edited by: Garrick Jones
Time: 2017/7/29

Professor Shao Lu, a member of State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment and his research group collaborated with Cheng Zhongjun, who is the associate researcher of HIT Academy of Fundamental and Interdisciplinary Sciences on water diode Janus membranes, which achieved significant breakthroughs. Their achievements were online published on Material Horizons, which is subordinate to the Royal Society of Chemistry. It is the first time for HIT to be the corresponding organization to publish article on such influential periodical.

Janus membrane is a newly-developing concept for environment, energy and other fields. Due to its asymmetrical structure or property, it has special performance. Both sides of water diode Janus membranes have distinct features of infiltration, which caused water drops’ unidirectional liquid permeation through membranes’ intersecting surface. Based on the peculiar structure and hydrophobic nature of commercialized PTFE/PET composite membrane, Shao Lu’s research group skillfully designed a short-cut method to prepare multifunctional Janus membrane—Coating and Peeling. Coating and Peeling has the features of easy preparation, coupling with all functional modification methods, and then it can manufacture multifunctional composite micro-filtration membrane and achieve individualized design of multifunctional Janus membrane through changing coating’s functionality, which has extensive commercial application prospect.

Based on this approach, researchers from HIT respectively get Janus membrane with magnetism and dye absorption, and Janus membrane with pH responsive. In which, the boat made by Janus membrane with magnetism and dye absorption can not only achieve the selective collection of water drops on oil under the control of magnetic field, but also can in-situ purify the collected water drops. At the same time, due to the unidirectional liquid permeation of Janus membrane, this multifunctional boat can achieve lossless transportation of the collected water drops, which means not all in vein. The pH responsive membrane can shift between common hydrophobic membrane and Janus membrane, in this way, containing Janus membrane’s unidirectional liquid permeation, pH responsive Janus membrane can also achieve further control of water drops, which can be used to design peculiar on-off reaction equipment. This research will provide theoretical and practical references, meanwhile, the preparation of multifunctional Janus membrane will promote Janus membrane’s transformation from scientific concept to practical commercialized materials.

Professor Shao Lu and associate researcher Cheng Zhongjun are the corresponding authors of this research paper, Dr. Wang Zhenxing and Yang Xiaobin from Shao’s research group are the co-first authors of this paper. This program has received huge support from National Natural Science Foundation, State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment and Special Fund of Environment and Ecological Innovation.

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