A novel intrinsically microporous ladder polymer and copolymers derived from 1,1′,2,2′-tetrahydroxy-tetraphenylethylene for membrane-based gas separation†
A novel intrinsically microporous polymer was synthesized by polycondensation reaction of 1,1′,2,2′,-tetrahydroxy-tetraphenylethylene (TPE) and 2,3,5,6-tetrafluoroterephthalonitrile (TFTPN). In addition, a series of copolymers was prepared from TPE, 5,5′,6,6′-tetrahydroxy-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylspirobisindane (TTSBI) and TFTPN. All TPE-derived polymers exhibited high molecular weight, good solubility in common organic solvents, high thermal stability and high surface area (550 to 660 m2 g−1). The CO2 permeability of a methanol-treated and 120 °C vacuum-dried TPE-TFTPN film was 862 Barrer with a moderate CO2/N2 selectivity of 26. The selectivity of the TPE-TTSBI-PIMs decreased with increasing TTSBI content coupled with a sharp increase in permeability. Molecular simulations indicated that the introduction of the tetraphenylethylene unit resulted in an increased rotational freedom of dihedral angles in the polymer main chain relative to those of the spirobisindane-based PIM-1.