Chemical functionalization of emulsion-templated porous polymers by thiol-ene "click" chemistry

C. R. Langford, D. W. Johnson, N. R. Cameron

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Highly porous polymers (polyHIPEs) have been prepared by the photopolymerization of high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs) with varying ratios of thiol and acrylate monomers. The resulting polymers have a nominal porosity of 80%, and are seen to have a well-defined, interconnected pore morphology, with average pore diameters ranging from 30 to 60 μm. The polyHIPE polymers have been shown using a colourimetric (Ellman's) assay to contain residual thiols which are reactive towards a range of (meth)acrylates (hexafluoroisopropyl acrylate, fluorescein O-acrylate and poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate). Functionalization was explored using thermally- and UV-initiated radical-mediated "click" reactions and an amine-catalysed Michael addition reaction. The extent of functionalization was investigated qualitatively and quantitatively using a range of techniques (solid state NMR spectroscopy; FTIR spectroscopy; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS); observation of fluorescence); high levels of conversion (up to 90-95%) were observed for the thermally-initiated radical reaction and the Michael reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6200-6206
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical functionalization
  • Porous polymers
  • Thiol-enes

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