Surface zeta potential analysis of novel graphene oxide coatings for membranes

2D materials such as graphene and graphene oxide introduce new pathways for the development of novel materials with superior properties. Nanocomposite coatings containing graphene oxide are investigated for their capability to enhance the performance of membranes for water treatment applications. We use the analysis of the zeta potential to confirm the presence of graphene oxide at the surface of such nanocomposite membrane coatings, which is a requirement for their activity and interaction with the aqueous environment.


The discovery of graphene has opened completely new technological pathways in material science. Nowadays graphene and its derivates can be found in a large number of applications due to their outstanding properties. Such applications can be found in the fields of electronics and batteries but also in biomedical applications including drug delivery, biosensing, bioimaging, and scaffolds for tissue engineering.

The hydrophilic nature of graphene oxide makes this graphene derivative also attractive for the advancement of membrane technology. Graphene oxide is expected to increase the water permeability, to suppress membrane fouling, and to introduce a reinforcement of polymer membranes. We report on the modification of a polymer membrane by a graphene oxide-polyelectrolyte composite coating and its effect on the charging behaviour at the membrane-water interface. A second example considers the formation of a ceramic membrane composed of graphene oxide and aluminium oxide.The characterization of the surface and interfacial charge of polymer and ceramic membranes employs the measurement of the streaming potential for the calculation of the surface zeta potential.

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