The development of nanofiltration systems would greatly assist in the production of well-defined particles and biomolecules with unique properties. We report a direct, simple synthesis of hexagonal silica nanotubes (NTs), which vertically aligned inside anodic alumina membranes (AAM) by means of a direct templating method of microemulsion phases with cationic surfactants. The direct approach was used as soft templates for predicting ordered assemblies of surfactant/silica composites through strong interactions within AAM pockets. Thus, densely packed NTs were successfully formed in the entirety of the AAM channels. These silica NTs were coated with layers of organic moieties to create a powerful technique for the ultrafine filtration. The resulting modified-silica NTs were chemically robust and showed affinity toward the transport of small molecular particles. The rigid silica NTs inside AAM channels had a pore diameter of ≤4 nm and were used as ultrafine filtration systems for noble metal nanoparticles (NM NPs) and semiconductor nanocrystals (SC NCs) fabricated with a wide range of sizes (1.0-50 nm) and spherical/pyramidal morphologies. Moreover, the silica NTs hybrid membranes were also found to be suitable for separation of biomolecules such as cytochrome c (CytC). Importantly, this nanofilter design retains high nanofiltration efficiency of NM NPs, SC NCs and biomolecules after a number of reuse cycles. Such retention is crucial in industrial applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Mechanics of Materials
- Materials Science(all)