Germanium and silicon nanowires for use in water purification




Sullivan, William (M.S. in chemical engineering)

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Germanium and silicon nanowires present an exciting opportunity for broadening the scope of membrane fouling mitigation research. Germanium nanowires provide a highly effective model system for investigating how to incorporate silicon nanowires into polymeric membranes, while providing relative ease in synthesis and workability compared to silicon nanowires. Silicon nanowires present an exciting area of investigation for fouling mitigation for two main reasons: they can be surface passivated to achieve desired chemical properties and they are photoactive. This work explores how to effectively incorporate germanium nanowires into polymeric membranes as a model to be used for silicon nanowires. Then the integration of silicon nanowires is further explored to determine the most effective methods of silicon nanowire incorporation into polymeric membranes. Successful integration of silicon nanowires into polymeric membrane systems is demonstrated, providing the groundwork for further exploration of the use of nanowires in water purification, specifically for fouling mitigation.


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