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Fabrication of a graphene oxide/nanoscale aramid fiber composite membrane with improved hydrophilicity and mechanical strength via a fast-drying method using absolute ethanol as proton donor

Wu, Yadong, Wang, Fang, Li, Xianglong, He, Jinmei, Huang, Yudong
Journal of materials science 2018 v.53 no.24 pp. 16383-16392
asymmetric membranes, chemical structure, contact angle, crystallization, dimethyl sulfoxide, drying, ethanol, flocculation, graphene oxide, hydrophilicity, potassium hydroxide, strength (mechanics), synergism
The synergic effect between each component in composite membrane has created a new concept to fabricate membrane materials and widen their applications. Previous trials have suggested that micrometer-scale aramid fiber (MAF) could be effectively split into nanoscale aramid fiber (NAF) by dissolution in DMSO/KOH. Addressed herein is a time-saving approach to incorporate graphene oxide (GO) together with NAF to fabricate composite membranes through π–π stacking interactions. NAF–GO composite membranes (GO/NAF) containing gradient contents of GO have been prepared using absolute ethanol as proton donor, making the drying process facile and fast. The obtained composite membranes exhibit excellent hydrophilicity and enhanced mechanical performance. The chemical structure, morphology, crystallization and mechanical strength of GO/NAF composite membranes are characterized, respectively, and the hydrophilicity of GO/NAF is also evaluated by static water contact angle measurements. In the case of medium GO content (1 wt%) used in this study, the composite membrane possesses both optimal mechanical performance and better hydrophilicity compared to other supplementations, indicating that absolute ethanol is a promising proton donor for flocculation, which makes the post-treatment process more economic.