Nanomembrane Research Group
The Nanomembrane Research Group (NRG) includes students, engineers, scientists, faculty and entrepreneurs at UR, a local nanomembrane manufacturer SiMPore Inc., and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and a growing network of academic and industry collaborators from around the world. Together, we have grown a serendipitous material discovery into a growing Rochester-based enterprise.
We introduced the first practical ultrathin freestanding nanoporopus membranes at the University of Rochester in 2007. Today, we manufacture and apply a variety of nanoporous and microporous membranes with the common characteristics that they are ultrathin (15 nm - 400 nm) and made with silicon-based manufacturing. Because these 'nanomembranes' are orders-of-magnitude thinner than conventional membranes, they are orders-of-magnitude more permeable to both diffusing molecules and pressurized flows. Molecular scale thickness also enhances the resolution of separations when the membranes are used as sieves. The silicon platform enables the ready assembly of membranes into devices using easily customized, but also highly scalable, layer-by-layer assembly. The unique properties of silicon nanomembranes have sparked paradigm-shifting research programs in:
- Biological tissue models
- Small format hemodialysis
- Electrokinetic devices
In addition to these applications, our team focuses on the basic science of ultrathin membranes including studies of transport and mechanics.