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Temperature Dependence Of The Pore Structure In Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)/Graphene Composite Membrane Probed By Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

Qizhao Luo, Qing Huang, Zhe Chen, Lei Yao, Qiuming Fu, Ping Fu, Zhidong Lin

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In this paper, graphene was introduced in the PVDF to improve the thermal stability of the pore structure, which is the key feature for the membrane applied for the thermo-osmotic energy conversion (TOEC) process. The PVDF/graphene composite membranes were characterized by a scanning electron microscopy (SEM), a water contact angle measurement, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). It was found that the composite membranes exhibited improved surface hydrophobicity. Moreover, the pores in pure PVDF membrane would expand during the heat process while the existence of graphene in PVDF clearly suppressed the expansion, which implied better thermal stability of the pores in the composite membrane. According to the pore deformation time, the heat conductivities of the membranes were calculated and compared with each other. It confirmed that the composite membrane with higher graphene content exhibited enhanced heat conductivity. EIS can be used to monitor the temperature dependence of the pore structure in aqueous environments.