Abstract: Molecular separation is critical to mitigating the issues of water contamination and shortage and currently focuses on the use of framework materials fabricated by special building blocks. However, developing a simple and tunable synthesis methodology for materials with alternative permeation and selectivity remains challenging. Here, we fabricate a series of nanochannel membranes composed of uniform spherical covalent organic frameworks (COFs). Diversified spherical COFs have diameters ranging from ∼150 to ∼800 nm, therefore demonstrating a programmable surface charge distribution from −24 to −63 mV. COF membranes with tailor-made surface charge enable different surface energy levels and allow increasing water permeation of 15.5 to 34.5 L m−2 h−1 bar−1. Furthermore, COFs can also act as filters, achieving up to 99.7% rejection and separation of the opposite charged dyes. We expect these COFs with tunable surface charge to be applicable to variety of fields, including sieving, batteries, and water treatments.

Tunable molecular transport and sieving enabled by covalent organic framework with programmable surface charge
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2021.10.021