The innovation engine for new materials

Eva Chan

Eva Chan


Chemical Engineering


University of California, Santa Barbara


Jan Garcia

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Glenn Fredrickson

Faculty Sponsor's Department(s): 

Chemical Engineering

Project Title: 

Effects of the Glass Transition on Membrane Formation

Project Description: 

The creation of polymer membranes through immersion precipitation is popular for water filtration applications. The process involves submerging a polymer solution into a nonsolvent bath, inducing phase separation that forms the membrane matrix and pores. The glass transition is the reversible transformation of a polymer from a rubbery to a brittle state, and its behavior can have an effect on the types of morphological features that form. We aim to discover how the glass transition behavior, together with the polymer solution composition, influence the creation of different membrane microstructures. The Doi-Onuki Rayleighian formalism was used to derive equations of motion to simulate the evolution of the membrane morphology over time. The equations of motion were solved using an in-house C++ code, processed through general-computing graphics processing units. Python scripts were used to visualize the membrane formation. We hope to find and analyze microstructure formation through this technique to better understand the formation of specific polymer membrane morphologies for water filtration applications.