College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Materials Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Materials Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Materials Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Materials Engineering



Primary Advisor

Trevor Harding, College of Engineering, Materials Engineering Department


Membrane filtration is used in a wide array of industries to separate components in a mixture. Filtration membranes suffer from the external deposition of pollutants and microorganisms, a phenomenon known as fouling. Fouling reduces the lifetime of a membrane and therefore increases production costs. The goal of this project was to modify the surface of a hydrophobic commercial membrane with a charged coating to induce antifouling properties. A zwitterionic monomer, sulfobetaine methacrylate (SBMA), was used for its steric hindrance and hydration shell formation mechanisms, which result in superior non-specific antifouling performance. When polymerizing the coating onto the surface of the commercial hydrophobic membrane, incremental amounts of SBMA monomer (9.50–23.75%), SpeedCure 4265 initiator (1.5–2.5%), and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (0.5%–1.25%) crosslinker (EGMA) were added to a 1:2 solution composed of water and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). The coated membranes were polymerized for 30 seconds using a COBRA CureTM FX2 UV LED Curing System with a wavelength of 365 nm. Contact angle measurements confirmed that the modification process changed the surface of the membranes from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. An existing commercial antifouling membrane and the 9.50% SBMA, 0.50% EGMA, and 1.50% SpeedCure 4265 modified membrane exhibited superior antifouling performance compared to the other experimental membrane combinations.