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Polymers of intrinsic microporosity - synthesis, transport properties and free volume


Project timeline
September 2006
30 months
February 2009
General Information
The project is intended to carry out the first systematic investigation of novel, very interesting glassy polymers - so-called polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs). Preliminary studies have indicated their unusual structure-transport properties: in contrast to previously known high permeability materials, their gas permeation parameters are induced not by the presence of bulky side groups, but by rigid, contorted main chains that cannot be packed densely and, hence, lead to intrinsic microporosity (large free volume) in the polymer matrix.

A representative group of new PIMs with various structures will be prepared and characterized. The subsequent studies involve investigation of gas, vapour and liquid permeation and a detailed study of free volume in PIMs using a set of probe methods - (i) nitrogen sorption analysis, (ii) positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy and (iii) inverse gas chromatography. In addition, radiothermoluminescence measurements will be undertaken to investigate aspects of polymer mobility. Gas and vapour permeation parameters of novel PIMs will be determined using sensitive and versatile barometric and mass spectrometric techniques.

This work is relevant to a varity of separation problems of considerable technological, ecological and social importance, including air separation, separation of H2 and CO2 containing mixtures with permanent gases.
The project consortium includes specialists having different profils and expertise: synthetic polymer chemists, physicists (experts in free volume study in polymers) and membranologists.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaINTAS-2005
Project TypeRTD
Contract Number05-1000008-7862
Co-ordinatorUniversity of Manchester (UK)
Total Eligible Costs (€) Hereon Eligible Costs (€) EC Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Prof. Dr. Volker Abetz, Institute of Polymer Research, PM Phone: +49 4152 87 2461, (initial contact: Dr. Detlev Fritsch, Institute of Polymer Research)
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

A. V. Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis (RU), Cardiff University (UK), N. N. Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics (RU), University of Manchester (UK)

(completed February 2009)

Last Update: 16. April 2021