Covalent bonding of graphene oxide quantum dots (GOQDs) onto amino modified polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane has generated a new type of nano-carbon functionalized membrane with significantly enhanced antibacterial and antibiofouling properties. A continuous filtration test using E. coli containing feedwater shows that the relative flux drop over GOQDs modified PVDF is 23%, which is significantly lower than those over pristine PVDF (86%) and GO-sheet modified PVDF (62%) after 10 h of filtration. The presence of GOQD coating layer effectively inactivates E. coli and S. aureus cells, and prevents the biofilm formation on the membrane surface, producing excellent antimicrobial activity and potentially antibiofouling capability, more superior than those of previously reported two-dimensional GO sheets and one-dimensional CNTs modified membranes. The distinctive antimicrobial and antibiofouling performances could be attributed to the unique structure and uniform dispersion of GOQDs, enabling the exposure of a larger fraction of active edges and facilitating the formation of oxidation stress. Furthermore, GOQDs modified membrane possesses satisfying long-term stability and durability due to the strong covalent interaction between PVDF and GOQDs. This study opens up a new synthetic avenue in the fabrication of efficient surface-functionalized polymer membranes for potential waste water treatment and biomolecules separation.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Scientific Reports, v. 6, article no. 20142, p. 1-11.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial supported by Nanyang Technological University Start-up Grant (M4081326). This work is also supported by the Youth 1000 Talent Program of China.

srep20142-s1.pdf (934 kB)
Supplementary Information: Figure S1-S11.