Atomic force microscopy study of membranes modified by surface grafting of cationic polyelectrolyte

Nidal Hilal, L. Al-Khatib, H. Al-Zoubi, R. Nigmatullin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two microfiltration membranes made of polyvinilidene fluoride (PVDF) and polyethersulfone (PES) of the same nominal pore size have been modified by photo-initiated graft copolymerisation of quaternary salt of dimethylamino ethyl methacrylate (qDMAEM). Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to characterise changes in surface morphology with variation of the degree of polymer grafting and therefore the process of modification. Comparative analysis of pore size distribution (PSD) of the initial and modified membranes has revealed differences in the modification process. Although polymer grafting resulted in PSD shifting towards smaller pore sizes, modification of PES membrane narrowed PSD, whereas modified PVDF showed wider PSD. This was attributed to different free-radical density for photo-reactive PES and more inert PVDF with possible contribution of the surface roughness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • AFM
  • Graft copolymerisation
  • Membrane
  • Modification
  • Morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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