The following post was submitted by Professor Frank Marken from the Department of Chemistry.

A postgraduate researcher, Luthando Tshwenya from the University of Johannesburg, visited Bath with support from the DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre, University of Johannesburg, Water Research commission and the National Research Foundation, South Africa to pursue research into water desalination treatment with “ionic diodes”. The project is based on a collaboration of Professor Omotayo Arotiba in Johannesburg and Professor Frank Marken at Bath. During the three month stay, Luthando was able to develop new types of diodes by hot-pressing together polymer films. The micro-devices were shown to rectify cation flow and they could in future be combined with an anion rectifier to give a novel water desalination system that is driven by AC electricity without any side reaction or requirements for pumps. Water research features prominently at Bath and at the University of Johannesburg where Luthando plans to further develop this technology in his PhD.

Luthando presented his work at the Electrochem 2017 conference in Birmingham and a joint publication has been submitted entitled “Cationic Diodes by Hot-Pressing of Fumasep FKS-30 Ionomer Film onto a Microhole in Polyethylene Terephthalate”. Coauthors in this work are based in 4 institutions including:

  • Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
  • Centre for Nanomaterials Science Research, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia
  • University of Groningen, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Analysis, 9700 AD Groningen, The Netherlands

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