PIM-1 mixed matrix membranes for gas separations using cost-effective hypercrosslinked nanoparticle fillers†
High-free-volume glassy polymers, such as polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) and poly(trimethylsilylpropyne), have attracted attention as membrane materials due to their high permeability. However, loss of free volume over time, or aging, limits their applicability. Introduction of a secondary filler phase can reduce this aging but either cost or instability rules out scale up for many fillers. Here, we report a cheap, acid-tolerant, nanoparticulate hypercrosslinked polymer ‘sponge’ as an alternative filler. On adding the filler, permeability is enhanced and aging is strongly retarded. This is accompanied by a CO2/N2 selectivity that increases over time, surpassing the Robeson upper bound.