An electrostatic approach for producing nanoparticulate membranes using laser ablation of microparticle aerosols



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The Laser Ablation of Microparticle Aerosols (LAMA) process produces nanoparticles by ablating microparticles that are entrained in an aerosol. Two of the main advantages of this process are that the particles produced are charged (preventing agglomeration) and bare (without a capping layer). Two different techniques are possible to collect the nanoparticles. In this work, the charged state of the particles formed was utilized to collect them electrostatically. This approach has the additional advantage that particles can be selected according to their size. The focus here was a particular application for gas separation. The nanoparticles produced were directly collected in a polymeric liquid, which was then irradiated with ultraviolet light to form a rubbery film. These membranes were tested for olefin/paraffin gas separation, a challenge that finds many applications, notably in the petroleum industry.