Fibrous mesoporous polymer monoliths: macromolecular design and enhanced photocatalytic degradation of aromatic dyes†
A bottom-up design has been developed for fibrous polymer monoliths that possess mesopores and photocatalytically degrade aromatic dyes. The designed monomers can establish a cross-linked, anisotropic nanostructure while being polymerized to yield fibrous polymer monoliths that contain mesopores without the need for a template or additives. The monoliths are soft yet tangible, like sea sponges or luffas, which allows them to form compressible cylinders or flexible films. Furthermore, the monomers not only construct fibers but also provide enhanced photocatalytic activity to fibrous networks through extended π-conjugation and mesopores. For example, a polymer film from the network could rapidly and repeatedly degrade aromatic dyes under white-light irradiation and even in daylight. The synthetic concept presented herein could be further modified using various additives and processing techniques, providing advanced textile systems.