Date of Completion


Embargo Period



membrane, osmosis, desalination, ion transport, water treatment, electrospinning

Major Advisor

Jeffrey McCutcheon

Associate Advisor

Benny Freeman

Associate Advisor

Richard Parnas

Associate Advisor

Leslie Shor

Associate Advisor

Luyi Sun

Field of Study

Chemical Engineering


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The ever expanding human population and improving standards of living have driven the development of new technologies to incorporate into civil infrastructure. The new technologies will augment or replace pre-existing technologies to sustainably deliver life essential goods and services worldwide. Forward osmosis processes represent a fraction of the new ideas being cultivated to meet these needs. These processes are driven by natural forces that exist when solutions of differing osmotic pressures are separated by a semi-permeable membrane. Through the use of a semi-permeable membrane and high osmotic pressure solution, forward osmosis processes offer new ways to produce clean energy and water. Most recent efforts in forward osmosis research have focused on the development of high productivity membranes design for reduced diffusion limitation within the support layer of asymmetric membrane structures which have become the norm in pressure driven aqueous membrane separations. This study differs in that it examines the role of membrane chemistry in improving interactions between membranes and aqueous Polydopamine Modified Thin Film Composite Membranes for Engineered Osmosis Jason Thomas Arena, PhD University of Connecticut, 2015 electrolyte systems. Membranes were modified for enhanced hydrophilicity to improve wettibility of a membrane’s structure. After the observation of a unique cation exchange behavior this study branched into the investigation of alternative monomers for the synthesis of semi-permeable membranes. Ultimately, this created a hydrophilic cation exchange resistant polyamide for forward osmosis.