Fouling and Scaling Resistant Surface Nano-Structured Membranes

Tech ID: 23678 / UC Case 2008-736-0


"In the early years, surface plasma treatment could only be accomplished in a vacuum chamber," said Yoram Cohen, UCLA professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. "It wasn't practical for large-scale commercialization because thousands of meters of membranes could not be synthesized in a vacuum chamber. It's too costly. With the advent of atmospheric pressure plasma, we don't even need to initiate the reaction chemically. It's as simple as brushing the surface with plasma, and it can be done for almost any surface!"


Researchers from UCLA have unveiled a new class of reverse-osmosis (RO) membranes that resist the clogging which typically occurs when seawater, brackish water and waste water are purified. Professor Cohen and his research team have developed membranes capable of resisting organic- and biofouling, as well as mineral salt scaling. These novel membranes have applications in water treatment and desalination, where biomaterial buildup and salt scaling of reverse osmosis membranes represent major impediments to high recovery rates.




  • Produced using atmospheric pressure plasma 
  • Easily incorporated into today's commercial production system
  • Significantly reduces desalination operating costs

Related Materials

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,445,076 05/21/2013 2008-736


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  • Cohen, Yoram

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