Polymers with cavities tuned for fast selective transport of small molecules and ions

Ho Bum Park, Chul Ho Jung, Young Moo Lee, Anita J. Hill, Steven J. Pas, Stephen T. Mudie, Elizabeth Van Wagner, Benny D. Freeman, David J. Cookson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

359 Citations (Scopus)


Within a polymer film, free-volume elements such as pores and channels typically have a wide range of sizes and topologies. This broad range of free-volume element sizes compromises a polymer's ability to perform molecular separations. We demonstrated free-volume structures in dense vitreous polymers that enable outstanding molecular and ionic transport and separation performance that surpasses the limits of conventional polymers. The unusual microstructure in these materials can be systematically tailored by thermally driven segment rearrangement. Free-volume topologies can be tailored by controlling the degree of rearrangement, flexibility of the original chain, and judicious inclusion of small templating molecules. This rational tailoring of free-volume element architecture provides a route for preparing high-performance polymers for molecular-scale separations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-258
Number of pages5
Issue number5848
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2007

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