Creation of a new type of ion exchange material for rapid, high-capacity, reversible and selective ion exchange without swelling and entrainment†
Ion-exchange materials, currently dominated by resins, are widely used in a plethora of areas. However, the drawbacks of conventional resins necessitate the creation of a new model of ion exchange materials that feature controllable swelling, easily accessible ion exchange sites, high ion exchange capacity, fast ion exchange kinetics, and high chemical stability as illustrated herein in the context of functionalizing a porous organic polymer (POP) with ion exchange groups. The advantages of POP-based ion exchange materials in comparison with conventional resins and other types of ion exchange materials have been highlighted through an evaluation of their performances in scavenging precious metals at trace concentrations, removal of nuclear waste model ions, and size-selective ion capture. Our work thereby provides a new perspective to develop ion functionalized POPs as a versatile type of ion exchange materials for various applications.