Molecular Permeation in Freestanding Bilayer Silica

Naberezhnyi, D. and Mai, L. and Doudin, N. and Ennen, I. and Hütten, A. and Altman, E.I. and Devi, A. and Dementyev, P.

Volume: 22 Pages: 1287-1293
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c04535
Published: 2022

Graphene and other single-layer structures are pursued as high-flux separation membranes, although imparting porosity endangers their crystalline integrity. In contrast, bilayer silica composed of corner-sharing (SiO4) units is foreseen to be permeable for small molecules due to its intrinsic lattice openings. This study sheds light on the mass transport properties of freestanding 2D SiO2 upon using atomic layer deposition (ALD) to grow large-area films on Au/mica substrates followed by transfer onto Si3N4 windows. Permeation experiments with gaseous and vaporous substances reveal the suspended material to be porous, but the membrane selectivity appears to diverge from the size exclusion principle. Whereas the passage of inert gas molecules is hindered with a permeance below 10-7 mol·s-1·m-2·Pa-1, condensable species like water are found to cross vitreous bilayer silica a thousand times faster in accordance with their superficial affinity. This work paves the way for bilayer oxides to be addressed as inherent 2D membranes. © 2022 American Chemical Society.

« back