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Supported MXene/GO Composite Membranes With Suppressed Swelling For Metal Ion Sieving

Zongjie Yin, Zong Lu, Yanyan Xu, Yonghong Zhang, Liliang He, Peishan Li, Lei Xiong, Li Ding, Yanying Wei, Haihui Wang

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Novel two-dimensional (2D) membranes have been utilized in water purification or seawater desalination due to their highly designable structure. However, they usually suffer from swelling problems when immersed in solution, which limits their further applications. In this study, 2D cross-linked MXene/GO composite membranes supported on porous polyamide substrates are proposed to improve the antiswelling property and enhance the ion-sieving performance. Transition-metal carbide (MXene) nanosheets were intercalated into GO nanosheets, where the carboxyl groups of GO combined the neighboring hydroxyl terminal groups of MXene with the formation of -COO- bonds between GO and MXene nanosheets via the cross-linking reaction (−OH + −COOH = −COO− + H2O) after heat treatment. The permeation rates of the metal ions (Li+, Na+, K+, Al3+) through the cross-linked MXene/GO composite membrane were 7–40 times lower than those through the pristine MXene/GO membrane. In addition, the cross-linked MXene/GO composite membrane showed excellent Na+ rejection performance (99.3%), which was significantly higher than that through pristine MXene/GO composite membranes (80.8%), showing improved ion exclusion performance. Such a strategy represents a new avenue to develop 2D material-derived high-performance membranes for water purification.