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Nat Nanotechnol. 2015 May;10(5):459-64. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2015.37. Epub 2015 Mar 23.

Water desalination using nanoporous single-layer graphene.

Author information

1
Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.
2
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, USA.
3
Energy and Transportation Science, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.
4
Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.
5
Materials Science &Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.
6
1] Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA [2] Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.

Abstract

By creating nanoscale pores in a layer of graphene, it could be used as an effective separation membrane due to its chemical and mechanical stability, its flexibility and, most importantly, its one-atom thickness. Theoretical studies have indicated that the performance of such membranes should be superior to state-of-the-art polymer-based filtration membranes, and experimental studies have recently begun to explore their potential. Here, we show that single-layer porous graphene can be used as a desalination membrane. Nanometre-sized pores are created in a graphene monolayer using an oxygen plasma etching process, which allows the size of the pores to be tuned. The resulting membranes exhibit a salt rejection rate of nearly 100% and rapid water transport. In particular, water fluxes of up to 10(6) g m(-2) s(-1) at 40 °C were measured using pressure difference as a driving force, while water fluxes measured using osmotic pressure as a driving force did not exceed 70 g m(-2) s(-1) atm(-1).

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PMID:
25799521
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2015.37

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