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Micro- and Mesoporous Polymers


Micro- and mesoporous materials, i.e. materials with pores of just a few nanometres in diameter and very high surface areas, are of considerable interest for fundamental research and industrial applications. In fact, inorganic porous materials such as activated carbons or zeolites are widely used in industry, e.g. as adsorbents, heterogeneous catalysts or for molecular separations. Despite the success of these materials, it is widely recognised that the synthesis of entirely novel micro- and mesoporous materials would provide new opportunities in emerging technological areas. Of particular interest is the design of such materials from organic components, as this allow for an exquisite control over the chemical nature of the large accessible surface areas as well as the physical properties of the resulting networks and the maximum incorporation of organic functional groups (by weight or mol percent) is possible. However, the introduction of porosity into organic, i.e. rather “soft” materials imposes strict requirements on the resulting framework, as polymer chains normally pack space-efficient to maximise intermolecular interactions. Such a space-efficient packing of polymer chains can be avoided when highly rigid and contorted molecular structures are introduced into polymer chains. Thus high performance polymers like aromatic poly(imide)s and poly(amide)s and conjugated polymers such as poly(thiophene)s or poly(paraphenylene)s with accessible surface areas of up to 2500 m2/g have been prepared which are promising materials for applications as adsorbents, for optoelectronic applications or as catalyst supports.

Relevant Publications

"Acid catalyzed synthesis of carbonyl-functionalized microporous ladder polymers with high surface area“ R. S. Sprick, A. Thomas, U. Scherf Polym. Chem., 2010, 1, 283 - 285
Mesoporous Melamine Resins by Soft Templating of Block-co-Polymer Mesophases K. Kailasam, Y. S. Jun, P. Katekomol, J. D. Epping, W. H. Hong, A. Thomas, Chem. Mater. 2010, 22, 428
Conjugated Microporous Polymer Networks via Yamamoto Polymerization J. Schmidt, M. Werner, A. Thomas, Macromolecules 2009, 42, 4426
Catalyst-free Preparation of Melamine-Based Microporous Polymer Networks through Schiff Base Chemistry

M.G. Schwab, B. Fassbender, H.W. Spiess, A. Thomas, X.L. Feng, K. Müllen, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 7216
Porous Polymers: Enabling Solutions for Energy Applications
A. Thomas, P. Kuhn, J. Weber, M. M. Titirici, M. Antonietti, Macromol. Rap. Commun. 2009, 30, 221-236
Microporous Conjugated Poly(thienylene arylene)-Networks
J. Schmidt, J. Weber, J.D. Epping, M. Antonietti, A. Thomas, Adv. Mater. 2009, 21, 702-705
Proton conductivity enhancement by Nanostructured Poly(benzimidazole)
J. Weber, K.D. Kreuer, J. Maier, A. Thomas, Adv. Mater. 2008, 20, 2595-2598.
Toward Stable Interfaces in Conjugated Polymers: Microporous Poly(p-phenylene) and Poly(phenyleneethynylene) Based on a Spirobifluorene Building Block J. Weber, A. Thomas J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 6334-6335
Microporous Networks of High Performance Polymers: The Effect of Elastic Deformation on Gas Sorption Properties
J. Weber, M. Antonietti, A. Thomas, Macromolecules 2008, 41, 2880-2885
Hard Templates for soft materials: Creating nanostructured organic materials A. Thomas, F. Goettmann, M. Antonietti, , Chem. Mater (Special Issue: Templating) 2008, 20, 738-755
Exploring Intrinsic Microporosity- Synthesis of microporous soluble poly(imides) J. Weber, M. Antonietti, A. Thomas, Macromol. Rap. Commun., 2007, 18-19, 1871-1876
Mesoporous Poly(benzimidazole) Networks via Solvent Mediated Templating of Hard SpheresJ. Weber, M. Antonietti, A. Thomas, Macromolecules 2007, 40, 1299-1304.

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