Atomic force microscopy of nanofiltration membranes

Effect of imaging mode and environment

D. J. Johnson, S. A. Al Malek, B. A M Al-Rashdi, N. Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The atomic force microscope (AFM) has become a useful tool for studying the morphology of membrane surfaces as well as their fouling characteristics. One principle advantage of the AFM over other high resolution imaging techniques is the ability to make observations in both ambient air and liquid environments. Diverse imaging modes also exist, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In this study two different imaging modes in both air and water are compared when examining two different nanofiltration membranes, to compare the strengths and weakness of different methods of obtaining surface topography when applied to nanofiltration membrane characterization. When imaging the more hydrophobic of the two membranes using tapping mode in a water environment features consistent with the existence of surface adhered nanobubbles were observed. Such features have implications for the fouling of membranes by hydrophobic materials, as well as effects on the ability to image hydrophobic membrane surfaces under such conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-498
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume389
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Nanofiltration membranes
Atomic Force Microscopy
Atomic force microscopy
atomic force microscopy
membranes
Membranes
Imaging techniques
Fouling
Microscopes
fouling
Water
Surface topography
Air
microscopes
air
imaging techniques
water
topography
Liquids
high resolution

Keywords

  • AFM
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Membrane characterization
  • Membrane filtration
  • Membrane preparation
  • Nanofiltration membrane
  • Water purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

Cite this

Atomic force microscopy of nanofiltration membranes : Effect of imaging mode and environment. / Johnson, D. J.; Al Malek, S. A.; Al-Rashdi, B. A M; Hilal, N.

In: Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 389, 01.02.2012, p. 486-498.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Johnson, D. J. ; Al Malek, S. A. ; Al-Rashdi, B. A M ; Hilal, N. / Atomic force microscopy of nanofiltration membranes : Effect of imaging mode and environment. In: Journal of Membrane Science. 2012 ; Vol. 389. pp. 486-498.
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