Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) was grafted on a polysulfone UF membrane. The changes of permeability as well as retention of PEG (35 kg/mol) and Dextran (500 kg/mol) between 23 and 60 °C were determined for both grafted and unmodified membranes. The results showed that the viscosity corrected water permeability and solute retention were almost constant for the unmodified membranes within the measured temperature range, the permeability of the grafted membranes increased and the retention of Dextran and PEG decreased with temperature. The variation of changes was most obvious in the temperature range 27–37 °C for the modified membranes due to the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of PNIPAAm. The location and profile of PNIPAAm inside and on the surface of the membrane were analysed by SEM and FTIR. Depth profile calculation for FTIR spectra showed that PNIPAAm was mostly placed inside the membrane (at a depth of 1.06–1.10 μm from the surface) rather than on the surface. The amount of grafted PNIPAAm was low and did not significantly affect the morphology of the membrane. Therefore, a difference in SEM pictures of modified and unmodified membranes could not be seen. The modified membrane exhibited a clearly different thermal response compared to the unmodified one.
Hesampour, M., Huuhilo, T., Mäkinen, K., Mänttäri, M., & Nyström, M. (2008). Grafting of temperature sensitive PNIPAAm on hydrophilised polysulfone UF membranes. Journal of Membrane Science, 310(1-2), 85-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2007.10.038