Authors: J. Snyder, M. Kavalenka, D. Fang, C. Striemer, P. Fauchet, J. McGrath
Affilation: University of Rochester, United States
Pages: 333 - 335
Keywords: nanomembranes, protein separations
We have developed an ultrathin (15nm) freestanding nanoporous silicon based membrane . This new material, termed porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si), is fabricated using standard photolithography techniques. Pore sizes can be tuned in a thermodynamically driven self-assembly step during pnc-Si manufacture. The intrinsic characteristics of this new material and its relatively facile fabrication make it superior to commercial membranes and other currently studied nanomembranes. Pnc-Si air and water flow rates are an order of magnitude higher than those reported of carbon nanotube membranes and commercial track etched membranes. We have employed pnc-Si membranes in protein separations, and because of the well defined pores, observe sharp molecular weight cutoffs of complex protein mixtures. Additionally we have used pnc-Si membranes to perform blood protein separations, and have observed separations by diffusion alone that are difficult for standard hemodialysis membranes to achieve.