Immobilization of silver nanoparticle-decorated silica particles on polyamide thin film composite membranes for antibacterial properties

Sang Hee Park, Young Seon Ko, Sung Joon Park, Jong Suk Lee, Jinhan Cho, Kyung Youl Baek, Il Tae Kim, Kyoungja Woo, Jung Hyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Citations (Scopus)


We present a new strategy to strongly and effectively immobilize silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on polyamide thin film composite membranes to endow antibacterial activity. This method relies on the immobilization of relatively large silica particles (SiO2, ~400nm in diameter), where AgNPs of ~30nm in diameter are tightly and densely bound (AgNP@SiO2), on the membrane surface using cysteamine as a covalent linker. The formation of multiple Ag-S chemical bonds between a "bumpy AgNP@SiO2 and the rough membrane surface provides a great leaching stability of AgNPs and AgNP@SiO2. AgNP@SiO2 particles were well distributed over the entire membrane surface without severe aggregation. The surface coverage of the membrane by AgNP@SiO2 was tuned by adjusting the deposition time and AgNP@SiO2 particle concentration. The AgNP@SiO2-immobilized membrane showed excellent antibacterial properties against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, even with a relatively low particle coverage. Importantly, the separation performance (water flux and salt rejection) of the membrane was not impaired by particle immobilization. These beneficial effects are attributed mainly to the sparse and good distribution of AgNP@SiO2, which can reinforce the antibacterial activity of AgNPs while having a negligible impact on the hydraulic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-91
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program ( NRF-2014R1A1A1003197 ) and the Future-based Technology Development Program (Grant no. 2014-060222 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning and the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) institutional program (Project no. KK 1502-C00 ). We are also grateful to Taek-Seung Kim and Prof. Hee-Deung Park for help to acquire CLSM images.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Antibacterial property
  • Particle immobilization
  • Polyamide thin film composite membrane
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Silver nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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