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A submicron thick and defect-free palladium-silver (Pd-Ag) alloy membrane is fabricated on a supporting microsieve by using microfabrication techniques. The microfabrication process also creates a robust wafer-scale membrane module, which can easily be inserted into a membrane holder to have gas-tight connections to the outer world. The microfabricated membrane demonstrated high separation fluxes of up to 4 mol H2/m2·s with a minimal selectivity of 1500 for hydrogen over helium (H2/He) at 450°C and 83 kPa H2 retentate pressure. The present membrane has great potential for hydrogen purification and in applications like dehydrogenation chemistry. In addition, the presented technology can be used to fabricate other kinds of ultrathin but strong and defect-free membranes to set up new applications.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2005