Cook in a pot with Teflon coating , Cooked rice won't stick to the pot . This is because the key component of polytetrafluoroethylene is fluorine —— A light or hydrophobic element . Teflon can also be used for pipe lining to improve water flow .
Yomin ITO, an associate professor in the Department of chemistry and biotechnology at the University of Tokyo, and his team tried to explore how pipes or channels made of fluorine work on a nano scale , To test its effect in selective filtration of different compounds , Especially water and salt .
The team created a test membrane by chemically synthesizing nano fluorine rings , These nano fluorine rings are stacked and embedded in other impermeable lipid layers , Similar to the organic molecules that make up the cell wall . They created a few with a width of about 1 To 2 Fluorine ring test samples between nanometers , Human hair is almost 10 10000 nm wide . To test the effectiveness of the membrane , The team measured the presence of chloride ions on both sides of the test membrane .
“ The smaller channel in the test completely rejected the introduction of salt molecules , The larger channel is improved compared with other seawater desalination technologies and even cutting-edge carbon nanotube filters .” Yomin ITO said ,“ What really surprised me was , This process happens very fast , Thousands of times faster than typical industrial equipment , About... Faster than experimental desalination equipment based on carbon nanotubes 2400 times .”
Fluorine is electronegative , It repels negative ions , Such as chlorine in salt . The advantage of this is the decomposition of essentially loosely bound water molecular groups （ Water cluster ）, So they can pass through the channel faster . The team's fluorine-based water desalination membrane is more effective 、 faster 、 Operation requires less energy , And it's very easy to use .
The research team hopes to improve the way of synthetic materials in the future , Increase membrane life and reduce operating costs .