Membranes for fluid separation are disclosed. These membranes have a matrix layer sandwiched between an active layer and a porous support layer. The matrix layer includes 1-D nanoparticles that are vertically aligned in a porous polymer matrix, and which substantially extend through the matrix layer. The active layer provides species-specific transport, while the support layer provides mechanical support. A matrix layer of this type has favorable surface morphology for forming the active layer. Furthermore, the pores that form in the matrix layer tend to be smaller and more evenly distributed as a result of the presence of aligned 1-D nanoparticles. Improved performance of separation membranes of this type is attributed to these effects.
This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-AR0000025 awarded by the Department of Energy, under contract number W911NF-09-C-0079 awarded by the Department of Defense, and under contract number IIP-1058572 awarded by the National Science Foundation. The Government has certain rights in this invention.