Surface slip on rotating graphene membrane enables the temporal selectivity that breaks the permeability-selectivity trade-off

ZQ Zhang and SF Li and BX Mi and JB Wang and JN Ding, SCIENCE ADVANCES, 6, eaba9471 (2020).

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba9471

Membrane separation technology is dictated by the permeability- selectivity trade-off rule, because selectivity relies on membrane pore size being smaller than that of hydrated ions. We discovered a previously unknown mechanism that breaks the permeability-selectivity trade-off in using a rotating nanoporous graphene membrane with pores of 2 to 4 nanometers in diameter. The results show that the rotating membrane exhibits almost 100% salt rejection even when the pore size is larger than that of hydrated ions, and the surface slip at the liquid/graphene interface of rotating membrane enables concurrent ultra- selectivity and unprecedented high permeability. A novel concept of "temporal selectivity" is proposed to attribute the unconventional selectivity to the time difference between the ion's penetration time through the pore and the bypass time required for ion's sliding across the pore. The newly discovered temporal selectivity overcomes the limitation imposed by pore size and provokes a novel theory in designing high-performance membranes.

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