Surface and bulk porosity mapping of polymer membranes using infrared spectroscopy

Johannes Kiefer, Nadia Rasul, Pranay Ghosh, Eric von Lieres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The porosity is a key characteristic parameter and significantly influences the behavior of a membrane in
a given application. This work demonstrates the use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy for mapping the
porosity of polymer membranes. Conventional transmission IR spectroscopy is employed to assess the
bulk porosity across the entire thickness of a polyethersulfone (PES) membrane, while attenuated total
reflection IR (ATR-IR) provides information about the porosity of a thin layer at the membrane surface.
The results indicate that the bulk porosity of the studied membrane is rather homogeneous while the
surface porosity is characterized by systematic local deviations from its mean value up to about 30%. IR
spectroscopy turns out to be a suitable and straightforward method to characterize the porosity
distribution of membranes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Early online date19 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2014


  • porous membranes
  • membrane characterization
  • FTIR spectroscopy
  • ATR spectroscopy


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