Advanced Materials

Supported Lyotropic Liquid-Crystal Polymer Membranes: Promising Materials for Molecular-Size-Selective Aqueous Nanofiltration


  • Financial support for this work from the Office of Naval Research (grant #: N00014-02-1-0383) is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank Dr. R. Ortega and Mr. B. Newman at Rigaku MSC for performing 2D X-ray analysis of the supported LLC membranes. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


The ordered monodisperse ionic channels existing in lyotropic liquid-crystal (LLC) polymer films allow only the passage of water-soluble molecules which are smaller than the ∼ 1.2 nm diameter of the channels. When formed on an ultraporous polysulfone (PSf) support, the films are used effectively as size-selective sieves for water-soluble molecules. These membranes are able to completely reject molecules larger than their pore sizes.

original image