Plasmonic Retrofitting of Membrane Materials: Shifting from Self‐Regulation to On‐Command Control of Fluid Flow

Ana Sousa‐Castillo, Leonardo N. Furini, Brylee David B. Tiu, Peng‐Fei Cao, Begüm Topçu, Miguel Comesaña‐Hermo, Benito Rodríguez‐González, Walid Baaziz, Ovidiu Ersen, Rigoberto C. Advincula, Moisés Pérez‐Lorenzo, and Miguel A. Correa‐Duarte
Adv. Mat. 2018


This work calls for a paradigm shift in order to change the operational patterns of self‐regulated membranes in response to chemical signals. To this end, the fabrication of a retrofitting material is introduced aimed at developing an innovative generation of porous substrates endowed with symbiotic but fully independent sensing and actuating capabilities. This is accomplished by transferring carefully engineered plasmonic architectures onto commercial microfiltration membranes lacking of such features. The integration of these materials leads to the formation of a coating surface proficient for ultrasensitive detection and “on‐command” gating. Both functionalities can be synergistically modulated by the spatial and temporal distribution of an impinging light beam offering an unprecedented control over the membrane performance in terms of permeability. The implementation of these hybrid nanocomposites in conventional polymeric porous materials holds great potential in applications ranging from intelligent fluid management to advanced filtration technologies and controlled release.

Adv. Mat., 2018