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  1. Abstract

    The recognition of membrane separations as a vital technology platform for enhancing the efficiency of separation processes has been steadily increasing. Concurrently, 3D printing has emerged as an innovative approach to fabricating reverse osmosis membranes for water desalination and treatment purposes. This method provides a high degree of control over membrane chemistry and structural properties. In particular, when compared to traditional manufacturing techniques, 3D printing holds the potential to expedite customization, a feat that is typically achieved through conventional manufacturing methods but often involves numerous processes and significant costs. This review aims to present the current advancements in membrane manufacturing technology specifically tailored for water desalination purposes, with a particular focus on the development of 3D-printed membranes. A comprehensive analysis of recent progress in 3D-printed membranes is provided. However, conducting experimental work to investigate various influential factors while ensuring consistent results poses a significant challenge. To address this, we explore how membrane manufacturing processes and performance can be effectively pre-designed and guided through the use of molecular dynamics simulations. Finally, this review outlines the challenges faced and presents future perspectives to shed light on research directions for optimizing membrane manufacturing processes and achieving optimal membrane performance.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 2, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 25, 2024
  4. Polysiloxane is one of the most important polymeric materials in technological use. Polydimethylsiloxane displays glass-like mechanical properties at low temperatures. Incorporation of phenyl siloxane, via copolymerization for example, improves not only the low-temperature elasticity but also enhances its performance over a wide range of temperatures. Copolymerization with the phenyl component can significantly change the microscopic properties of polysiloxanes, such as chain dynamics and relaxation. However, despite much work in the literature, the influence of such changes is still not clearly understood. In this work, we systematically study the structure and dynamics of random poly(dimethyl- co -diphenyl)siloxane via atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. As the molar ratio ϕ of the diphenyl component increases, we find that the size of the linear copolymer chain expands. At the same time, the chain-diffusivity slows down by over an order of magnitudes. The reduced diffusivity appears to be a result of a complex interplay between the structural and dynamic changes induced by phenyl substitution. 
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  5. A scaling law to predict the conformability of flexible sheets on spherical surfaces is derived and used to enhance the wrap. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Energy transport in proteins is critical to a variety of physical, chemical, and biological processes in living organisms. While strenuous efforts have been made to study vibrational energy transport in proteins, thermal transport processes across the most fundamental building blocks of proteins, i.e. helices, are not well understood. This work studies energy transport in a group of “isomer” helices. The π-helix is shown to have the highest thermal conductivity, 110% higher than that of the α-helix and 207% higher than that of the 3 10 -helix. The H-bond connectivity is found to govern thermal transport mechanisms including the phonon spectral energy density, dispersion, mode-specific transport, group velocity, and relaxation time. The energy transport is strongly correlated with the H-bond strength which is also modulated by the H-bond connectivity. These fundamental insights provide a novel perspective for understanding energy transfer in proteins and guiding a rational molecule-level design of novel materials with configurable H-bonds. 
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