Improved Nitrogen Containing Graphitic Material (NCGM) Membrane Fabrication for the Production of Effective Large-Area Membranes

Herrera, Erik Trey
Recent advancements in synthetic chemistry have brought about the possibility of creating custom nanopore materials. Graphene systems are highly ordered 2-dimensional crystals with a distinct pore size in their structure. With the introduction of nitrogen into the graphene structure, the nanopores can now be lined with nitrogen atoms that are more chemically reactive with another species. These nitrogen containing graphitic materials (NCGM) are unlike normal graphene material in that, through chemical modifications, the pore size can be changed to fit a specific function. The goal of this project was to determine an appropriate method to fabricate large-area membranes from a synthesized NCGM. Multiple fabrication techniques were attempted on various membrane supports. The fabricated membranes were analyzed for in-plane proton conductivity using a Scribner Associates Inc. 850e fuel cell system and a BT-112 membrane conductivity cell, also from Scribner Associates Inc. The through-plane proton conductivity was later measured using a custom-built U-tube set-up. These measurements were done in liquid solution with quaternary ammonium cations of varying sizes. The membranes were further analyzed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Research is ongoing on both NCGM synthesis and membrane fabrication/analysis techniques.
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