Barrier membranes made with lithographically printed flakes

Quan Liu, E. L. Cussler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We have used photolithography to make barrier membranes containing titanium flakes in a polydimethylsiloxane matrix. The flakes, which are shaped as ribbons, squares or hexagons, retard the diffusion of helium across the membranes. The retardation is due to the tortuous diffusion through the composite. The tortuosity can be due to diffusion from the bulk to a permeable gap between flakes or "necking"; to diffusion through the gaps between flakes; to diffusion back and forth between layers of flakes, or "wiggling". The results for necking into a single layer of flakes do not agree with previously published theories and simulations. The results are not limited by diffusion through the gaps between flakes. The results for multiple layers of flakes are close to those predicted by earlier theories which consider wiggling. All the results provide a benchmark for further theoretical development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 15 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was largely supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (grant F49620-01-1-0333). Other support came from the Department of Energy (grant DE-FG-02ER63509), the Petroleum Research Fund (grant 39083-AC9), and the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment at the University of Minnesota.


  • Diffusion
  • Flake-filled barrier membrane
  • Photolithographic


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