i3 Membrane links ion technology with membrane technology, thereby creating a new field of multifunctional and controllable separation techniques. In your capacity as a user of separation technologies, i3 Membrane supports you in developing your innovations in the areas of Life Science and Industry.
Ion technology is used in the semi-conductor industry for generating specific surface properties.
This involves implanting ions in materials, applying ultra-thin layers of metal and oxides or specifically changing surface textures.
Membrane technology today is an international and indispensable component of separation technology in the areas of Life Science and Industry. The manufacture of biological materials such as proteins and antibodies as well as the production of beer and wine is supported today by ultra-precise mechanical separation of materials as far as the nanometer range.
The surface is electrically conductive using an ultra-thin metal coating applied to a polymer membrane by means of an ion-supported method. This layer can be electrically charged which attributes the membrane chromatographic properties. Charged substances such as viruses, for example, can be adsorbed. These substances can also be easily desorbed again by switching the voltage. Mechanical separation technology becomes digital.
Ion bombardment of thin stainless steel foil leads to a max. 200-fold enlargement of the specific surface. The porous surface comprises indentations up to 2 µm deep, distributed evenly across the area. A hydrophobic or hydrophilic surface design is possible, and it can be coated with silanes, giving rise to an ultra-thin, very functional area which is also flexible. One example is represented by exploration for use of the foil in an adsorption column in analytical chromatography.