Multilayer nanoporous graphene membranes for water desalination

David Cohen-Tanugi, Li Chiang Lin, Jeffrey C. Grossman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

287 Citations (Scopus)


While single-layer nanoporous graphene (NPG) has shown promise as a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination membrane, multilayer graphene membranes can be synthesized more economically than the single-layer material. In this work, we build upon the knowledge gained to date toward single-layer graphene to explore how multilayer NPG might serve as a RO membrane in water desalination using classical molecular dynamic simulations. We show that, while multilayer NPG exhibits similarly promising desalination properties to single-layer membranes, their separation performance can be designed by manipulating various configurational variables in the multilayer case. This work establishes an atomic-level understanding of the effects of additional NPG layers, layer separation, and pore alignment on desalination performance, providing useful guidelines for the design of multilayer NPG membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1033
JournalNano Letters: a journal dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • molecular dynamic simulation
  • multilayer nanoporous graphene
  • ultrathin-film membrane
  • Water desalination


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