Membrane Characterization by Atomic Force Microscopy

Daniel J. Johnson, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The atomic force microscope (AFM) has been shown to be an increasingly useful tool in the characterization of membrane surfaces, in the assessment of their fouling resistance, and for the understanding of the mechanisms of fouling by colloidal and biocolloidal materials. Used in conjunction with membrane modification, its ability to directly measure adhesion forces under a wide range of operating conditions and with different foulants, actual and simulated, allows the easy assessment of the fouling resistance of the modified membranes compared with commercial membranes. The small sample sizes needed for this technique mean that this can be done without the need to produce large amounts of membranes, which may be expensive; instead, the technique acts as a potential screening technique prior to upscaling for pilot‐level or industrial tests.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalEncyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology
StatePublished - Mar 15 2013


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