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Séminaire Chimie ED459 / Chaire Total

Reverse and forward osmosis membranes research at IBM

Prof. Dr. Géraud Dubois (Hybrid Polymeric Materials Group, IBM Almaden Research Center, USA | Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, USA | Prof. invité Chaire Total Balard)

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Le Jeudi 25 Septembre 2014 à 13h45
UM2, salle de cours SC-16.01
N.B. Dans le cadre de la Chaire Total Balard, G. Dubois présente un séminaire supplémentaire mardi 23 septembre à 13h30 en salle de conférence de l’IEM (résumé ci-dessous)

[abstract du jeudi 25 septembre]

Water is a constrained resource today and will likely become more of a concern in the future as the world population grows. This global water crisis has led to great interest in improved water purification technologies and innovative materials for water treatment. At the IBM’s Almaden Research Center, the materials, processes and computational models originally developed for nanotechnology are currently being leveraged for application in desalination and water purification.

In partnership with Central Glass (Japan), the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST, Saudi Arabia), and the University of Texas-Austin (Professor Benny Freeman, US), we have developed smart materials for RO separation layers, which include i-phobe (ionizable hydrophobe) functionalities. The first generation of i-phobe membranes show unique pH-dependent RO behavior (enhanced performance at high pH) and improved chlorine resistance. Second generation materials exhibit a superior combination of water permeance and salt rejection, with efficient removal of toxic pollutants such as arsenic and boron.

More recently, we have started some research activities on Forward Osmosis (FO), an osmotically driven membrane process that operates at near zero hydraulic pressure, resulting in lower operating cost and lower membrane fouling tendency.
In this seminar, I will discuss the current status of RO and FO related projects at IBM Research.

Seminaire Chaire Total du Prof. Dr. Géraud Dubois le mardi 23 octobre 2014 à 13h30 [attention : horaire avancé par rapport à ce qu’annoncé précédemment]
UM2 salle de conférence de l’Institut Européen des Membranes (bât. 39, 300 av. Émile Jeanbrau)

Protective and adhesive coatings obtained by sol-gel chemistry and atmospheric plasma deposition

The independent control of protective or adhesive coatings interfacial and bulk properties remains today a materials science challenge. The adhesion of polymeric materials to inorganic substrates is of critical importance for reliable chip packaging and the development of emerging 3D stacking technology. The protective properties of dense inorganic coatings atop polymeric substrates have been investigated for applications in the field of solar cells, airplane windows and the automotive industry.

In this seminar, I will give two examples demonstrating that such coatings can be obtained either by liquid phase or gas phase deposition techniques. In the first case, the deposition of heterogeneous sol-gel formulations leads to a two fold improvement in the adhesive fracture energy between an oxide and an epoxy resin [1]. In the second example, I will show how transparent bi-layer coatings with high adhesion and mechanical properties can be deposited using low-temperature atmospheric plasma onto PMMA [2-4].


1. M. Giachino et al. ACS App. Mat. Interfaces 2013, 5(20), 9891–9895.
2. L. Cui et al. ACS App. Mat. Interfaces 2012, 4(12), 6587–6598.
3. L. Cui et al. ACS App. Mat. Interfaces 2013, 5(21), 11276–11280.
4. L. Cui et al. ACS Nano 2014, 8(7), 7186–7191.

Biographical sketch :
Dr. Géraud Dubois obtained his Ph.D. degree summa cum laude from the Montpellier II University in France in 1999. From 1999 to 2000, Dr. Dubois was a post-doc at the University of Burgundy. In 2000, Dr. Dubois moved to the United States and a postdoctoral position at Stanford University. In November 2002, Dr. Dubois joined the IBM Research Division at their Almaden Research Center in California where he currently is the manager of the hybrid polymeric materials group. He has also been a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University since 2009 and the president of the International Sol-Gel Society from 2009 to 2011. His research interests focus on the synthesis and characterization of porous silicates thin-films with superior mechanical properties, the development of new processes for the damage free integration of ULK materials and the preparation of organic membranes for sea water desalination and waste water purification.

Contact local ICGM : Prof. Bruno Boury (équipe CMOS)


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