Supported Opal Membranes

Membranes with nanopores are important in molecular transport, molecule-surface interactions at the nanoscale, and in separations. This invention relates to suspended opal membranes formed by the self-assembly of sub-micron sized silica spheres. The colloidal solutions of 440 nm or 170 nm diameter silica spheres is evaporated over vertically oriented 0.3 mm silicon wafers with square openings. Robust 5 � 5 mm membranes, with regular (111) packing and three-dimensional pores (75 nm or 40 nm in diameter) can be obtained. The flux through these opal membranes is higher in magnitude by several orders when compared to track-etched polycarbonate membranes with nanopores of comparable size.

The suspended opal membranes described in this invention have applications in water purification and in the separation of chiral drug molecules.

Stage of Development
A formal patentability opinion is being considered at this time.
This technology has been demonstrated to work in proof-of-concept experiments and is available for developmental research support/licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info

Inventor(s): Ilya Zharov, Andrew Bohaty

Type of Offer: Licensing

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