Pyrene Bearing Azo-Functionalized Porous Nanofibers for CO<sub>2</sub> Separation and Toxic Metal Cation Sensing

A novel luminescent azo-linked polymer (ALP) has been constructed from 1,3,6,8-tetra­(4-aminophenyl)­pyrene using a copper­(I)-catalyzed oxidative homocoupling reaction. The polymer displays high porosity with a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area of 1259 m<sup>2</sup> g<sup>–1</sup> and narrow pore size distribution (1.06 nm) and is able to take up a significant amount of CO<sub>2</sub> (2.89 mmol g<sup>–1</sup>) at 298 K and 1.00 bar with a high isosteric heat of adsorption of 27.5 kJ mol<sup>–1</sup>. Selectivity studies applying the ideal adsorbed solution theory revealed that the novel polymer has moderately good selectivities for CO<sub>2</sub>/N<sub>2</sub> (55.1) and CO<sub>2</sub>/CH<sub>4</sub> (10.9). Furthermore, the ALP shows fluorescence quenching in the presence of Hg<sup>2+</sup>, Pb<sup>2+</sup>, Tl<sup>+</sup>, and Al<sup>3+</sup> ions. Compared with these ions, the ALP showed no sensitivity to light metal ions such as Na<sup>+</sup>, K<sup>+</sup>, and Ca<sup>2+</sup> in ethanol–water solution, clearly indicating the high selectivity of the ALP toward heavy metal ions. The exceptional physiochemical stability, high porosity, and strong luminescence make this polymer an excellent candidate as a fluorescent chemical sensor for the detection of heavy metal ions.