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Advanced Materials

Rapid Mass Transport in Mixed Matrix Nanotube/Polymer Membranes


  • A. A. Gusev,

    1. Institute of Polymers, Department of Materials, ETH Zürich, HCI H527, 8093 Zürich (Switzerland)
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  • O. Guseva

    1. Materials Simulation GmbH, Bluntschlisteig 1, P.O. Box 624, 8027 Zürich (Switzerland)
    2. Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Laboratory for Corrosion and Materials Integrity, Überlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf (Switzerland)
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  • The work was in part supported by the European Commission 6th Framework Program Project MULTIMATDESIGN “Computer aided molecular design of multifunctional materials with controlled permeability properties”, Contract Number: NMP3-CT-2005-013644.


The permeability performance of mixed matrix carbon-nanotube/polymer membranes (see figure) is estimated by using the finite element method. The universal approximation of perfectly permeable nanotubes appears appropriate for predicting the overall rates of single gas solute transport. Based on direct finite element predictions, a set of simple design equations demonstrate that nanotube/polymer membranes can favorably combine the high-flux performance of nanotubes with the intrinsic selectivity of a polymer matrix.

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