Mixed-Penetrant Sorption in Ultra-Thin Films of Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity PIM-1

Mixed penetrant sorption into ultra-thin films of a super-glassy polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1) was studied for the first time by using interference-enhanced in-situ spectroscopic ellipsometry. PIM-1 swelling and the concurrent changes in its refractive index were determined in ultra-thin (12 - 14 nm) films exposed to pure and mixed penetrants. The penetrants included water, n-hexane and ethanol and were chosen based on their significantly different penetrant-penetrant and penetrant-polymer affinities. This allowed studying microporous polymer responses at diverse ternary compositions and revealed effects such as competition for the sorption sites (for water / n-hexane or ethanol / n-hexane) or enhancement in sorption of typically weakly sorbing water in the presence of more highly sorbing ethanol. The results reveal details of the mutual sorption effects which often complicate comprehension of glassy polymers' behavior in applications such as high-performance membranes, adsorbents or catalysts. Mixed-penetrant effects are typically very challenging to study directly and their understanding is necessary owing to a broadly recognized inadequacy of simple extrapolations from measurements in pure component environment.

Ogieglo W, Furchner A, Ghanem BS, Ma X-H, Pinnau I, et al. (2017) Mixed-Penetrant Sorption in Ultra-Thin Films of Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity PIM-1. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b10061.

This publication is based upon work supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. SEED Fund OSR-2015-SEED-2445-01.

American Chemical Society (ACS)

The Journal of Physical Chemistry B


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