Imidazole-functionalized hydrophilic rubbery comb copolymers: Microphase-separation and good gas separation properties

Chang Soo Lee, Na Un Kim, Jung Tae Park, Jong Hak Kim

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Imidazole groups have attracted considerable attention owing to their potential to be modified into ionic liquids, metal complexes, and biomimetic products. Herein, we report the synthesis of an imidazole-functionalized comb copolymer, i.e., poly(vinyl imidazole)-poly(oxyethylene methacrylate) (PVIm-POEM), via free-radical polymerization for a CO2 capture membrane. The imidazole group in PVIm-POEM exhibits a good interaction with the ethylene oxide groups of the POEM domain to cover the severe structural defects of PVIm domains. The selectivities of PVIm-POEM comb copolymer membranes were far greater than those of PVIm and POEM homopolymers. The PVIm domain not only provided a good physical property for generating a defect-free membrane but also generated an effective CO2-philic pathway via microphase separation and interactions with ethylene oxide groups. The highest performance was exhibited by PVIm-POEM37 (with a volumetric ratio of 3:7): the CO2 permeability reached 148.6 Barrer, and the CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 selectivities reached 65.3 and 35.0, respectively, which represents one of the highest values for water/alcohol-soluble polymeric membranes without additives. The results suggest that the imidazole group-based copolymer provides avenues for future research through various types of reformation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116780
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea [grant numbers NRF- 2018M3A7B4071535 and NRF-2017R1D1A1B06028030 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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