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Mixed Matrix Membranes with Strengthened MOFs/Polymer Interfacial Interaction and Improved Membrane Performance

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journal contribution
posted on 23.04.2014, 00:00 by Rijia Lin, Lei Ge, Lei Hou, Ekaterina Strounina, Victor Rudolph, Zhonghua Zhu
MOFs-based mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) have attracted extensive attention in recent years due to their potential high separation performance, the low cost, and good mechanical properties. However, it is still very challenging to achieve defect-free interface between micrometer-sized MOFs and a polymer matrix. In this study, [Cd2L­(H2O)]2·5H2O (Cd-6F) synthesized using 4,4′-(hexafluoroisopropylidene)­diphthalic anhydride (6FDA) as an organic ligand was introduced into the 6FDA-ODA polyimide matrix to achieve novel MOF MMMs. A specific interfacial interaction between MOF crystals and polymer chains was innovatively targeted and achieved through in situ polymerization procedure. The enhanced adhesion between MOF particles and polymer phase was observed, and the improved interfacial interaction between Cd-6F and the 6FDA-ODA polyimide matrix was confirmed by detailed characterizations including FTIR and NMR. In the meantime, the gas permeance and selectivity of the MMMs are strongly dependent on their morphology. The MMM derived from in situ polymerization presents excellent interfaces between micrometer-sized MOF crystals and the polymer matrix, resulting in increased permeability and selectivity. The strategy shown here can be further utilized to select the MOF/polymer pair, eliminate interfacial voids, and improve membrane separation performance of MOFs-based MMMs.