The rational design and realization of revolutionary porous structures have been long-standing challenges in membrane science. We demonstrate a new class of amphiphilic polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) block copolymer (BCP)–based porous membranes featuring hierarchical multiscale hyperporous structures. The introduction of surface energy–modifying agents and the control of major phase separation parameters (such as nonsolvent polarity and solvent drying time) enable tunable dual-phase separation of BCPs, eventually leading to macro/nanoscale porous structures and chemical functionalities far beyond those accessible with conventional approaches. Application of this BCP membrane to a lithium-ion battery separator affords exceptional improvement in electrochemical performance. The dual-phase separation–driven macro/nanopore construction strategy, owing to its simplicity and tunability, is expected to be readily applicable to a rich variety of membrane fields including molecular separation, water purification, and energy-related devices.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank members of the UNIST Central Research Facility for their support in analyzing structures of porous polymer membranes. Funding: This work was supported by the IT R&D program of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy/Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (MOTIE/KEIT; 10046309) and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and future Planning (2015R1A2A1A01003474). Author contributions: S.Y. and J.-H.K. contributed to fabricating the samples and conducted data analysis of all kinds: electrochemical test, SEM, TEM, X-ray diffraction, and FT-IR. M.S., H.P., and J.-H.K. assisted with membrane fabrication and characterization. S.P. and S.-Y.L. proposed and guided the research project. All authors contributed to writing the paper. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
2015 © The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes