• membrane;
  • pervaporation;
  • polyethersulfone;
  • surface active additive;
  • fluorinated macromolecules


Novel surface modifying macromolecules (SMMs) were developed for incorporation into polyethersulfone (PES) membranes, intended for pervaporation applications. These materials were synthesized with a diisocyanate, polypropylene oxide (PPO), and a fluoro-alcohol, and characterized for elemental analysis, molecular weight, and glass transition temperatures. PES/SMM blends with eight types of SMMs were characterized for surface and physical properties and compared with PES. Water droplet contact angle measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data showed that the SMMs migrated to the surface and rendered the PES material more hydrophobic. While advancing contact angle data were equivalent to those of pure Teflon™, the highest average values of receding angles of these systems were less than those of commercial Teflon™. The opaqueness of PES/SMMs films and data from differential scanning calorimetry experiments showed that the SMMs were either immiscible or only partially miscible with PES. It was also observed, for a fixed PES concentration of 25 wt %, that increases in the molecular weight of the SMMs and the weight fraction of PPO in the SMMs led to phase separation in the ternary PES/SMMs/dimethylacetamide (i.e., membrane casting solution) system. On the other hand, in the binary PES/SMMs system (i.e., cast membrane film), an increasing weight fraction of fluorine in the SMMs contributed to an increase in the phase separation. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 73: 1363–1378, 1999