Ion track etching of polycarbonate membranes monitored byin situsmall angle X-ray scattering

Alexander Kiy*, Christian Notthoff, Shankar Dutt, Mark Grigg, Andrea Hadley, Pablo Mota-Santiago, Nigel Kirby, Christina Trautmann, Maria E. Toimil-Molares, Patrick Kluth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    In situsmall angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements of ion track etching in polycarbonate foils are used to directly monitor the selective dissolution of ion tracks with high precision, including the early stages of etching. Detailed information about the track etching kinetics and size, shape, and size distribution of an ensemble of nanopores is obtained. Time resolved measurements as a function of temperature and etchant concentration show that the pore radius increases almost linearly with time for all conditions and the etching process can be described by an Arrhenius law. The radial etching shows a power law dependency on the etchant concentration. An increase in the etch rate with increasing temperature or concentration of the etchant reduces the penetration of the etchant into the polymer but does not affect the pore size distribution. Thein situmeasurements provide an estimate for the track etch rate, which is found to be approximately three orders of magnitude higher than the radial etch rate. The measurement methodology enables new experiments studying membrane fabrication and performance in liquid environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14231-14241
    Number of pages11
    JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
    Issue number26
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021


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