Analysis of Organic-Inorganic Compatibility to Synthesis Defect Free Composite Membrane: A Review

Document Type : SI: ISET2019


1 School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

2 School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus, Jalan Sunsuria, Bandar Sunsuria, 43900 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia

3 School of Chemical Engineering Universiti Sains Malaysia Engineering Campus 14300 Nibong Tebal Pulau Pinang Malaysia


Despite the excellent potential separation performance of the composite membrane, the incompatibility of organic membrane matrix with inorganic nanofiller has been remained as the major concern in producing a defect free composite membrane. Indeed, incompatibility between polymer and nanofiller caused fillers agglomeration, consequently, formed the interfacial void defect. When nanofillers are dispersed in the polymer dope, agglomeration tends to happen due to relatively large van der Waals forces of interaction. In the case of filler and polymer are not compatible, these forces will be dominant among the fillers, which caused the nanoparticles to attract to each, then induces aggregation. Such membrane defects inevitably lower the separation performances of the membrane. This review discussed the development of mixed matrix membrane, particularly on the concern of compatibility between polymer and nanofiller. Techniques to improve polymer-filler compatibility has been further discussed based on various modification and cross-linking strategies. Currently, the linker is studying experimentally to promote affinity between inorganic filler and the organic polymer. Indeed, this is time consuming and involves expensive research cost. In this review, an alternative technique using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has also been elaborated to determine the efficiency of coupling agent to improve the matching of organic-inorganic materials, through the calculation of the molecular bonding energy. Theoretically, a multi-component system with lower energy than the total energy from its respective individual component can define as stable; hence, achieving polymer-filler compatibility.

Graphical Abstract

Analysis of Organic-Inorganic Compatibility to Synthesis Defect Free Composite Membrane: A Review


• Compatibility between membrane and filler
that affects its separation performances
• Enhancement of membrane-filler compatibility
via physical and chemical modification
• Lower molecular bonding energy has indicating
better membrane-filler compatibility


Main Subjects