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Filtration of Gold Nanorods
Mentor: Dr. Ruth Baltus
Department: Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering

Many pathogenic bacteria and viruses present in feed waters are non-spherical. Therefore, the design of efficient water treatment membrane systems for the removal of such particles requires an understanding of the impact of particle shape on particle rejection. Recent efforts in the Baltus lab have focused on developing a theoretical model of the rejection of capsule shaped particles from porous membranes. In this REU project, the student will carry out membrane filtration measurements using gold nanorod particles as mimics of non-spherical organisms. We have developed synthesis procedures that enable us to prepare gold particles with specific size and aspect ratio. A limited number of membrane filtration measurements have been performed using track etch porous membranes containing ideal cylindrical pores. This student’s efforts will focus on expanding the range of experimental parameters – particle size, shape and filtration velocities - as well as on performing experiments with porous membranes containing complex pore geometry. Experimental results will be compared to model predictions.