Graphene oxide membranes were recently suggested for applications in separation of ethanol from water using a vapor permeation method. Using isotope contrast, neutron reflectivity was applied to evaluate the amounts of solvents intercalated into a membrane from pure and binary vapors and to evaluate the selectivity of the membrane permeation. Particularly, the effect of D2O, ethanol and D2O–ethanol vapours on graphene oxide (GO) thin films (≈25 nm) was studied. The interlayer spacing of GO and the amount of intercalated solvents were evaluated simultaneously as a function of vapour exposure duration. The significant difference in neutron scattering length density between D2O and ethanol allows distinguishing insertion of each component of the binary mixture into the GO structure.
A. Vorobiev et al. Nanoscale, 2014, 6, 12151–12156 / ILL Annual Report 2014