Date of Graduation

Summer 2012


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Erich Steinle


This research project examined the effect on the transport rate through the nanoporous alumina membranes by modifying the membrane with variable alkyl chain length of trimethoxysilane (TMS) group. The alumina nanoporous membranes had pore sizes that were 200 nanometers in diameter. The test molecule used to determine the transport rate was fluorescein, and the transport rate was directly measured using fluorescence spectroscopy as the analytical tool. Modification of a nanoporous alumina membrane with a trimethoxysilane group has been shown previously to slow the rate of transport through the membrane. The effect of adding or removing alkyl chains from the TMS group that the membrane is being modified with has not been previously examined. This project examined the transport rates of eight different trimethoxysilane groups; ethyltrimethoxysilane, butyltrimethoxysilane, hexyltrimethoxysilane, octyltrimethoxysilane, decyltrimethoxysilane, dodecyltrimethoxysilane, hexadecyltrimethoxysilane, and octadecyltrimethoxysilane. The modified membranes with longer length alkyl chains showed a significant increase in the transport rates when compared to the transport rates of the unmodified membranes.


alumina nanoporous membranes, ion transport, membrane modification, fluorescence spectroscopy, trimethoxysilane groups

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