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Tuneable Surface Area, Porosity and Function in Conjugated Microporous Polymers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Jun 2019


A novel method using salts to tune N-containing conjugated microporous materials synthesized by Buchwald-Hartwig (BH) cross-coupling reactions is reported. The surface area and the porosity of the poly(triphenylamine) (PTPA) are optimized by the addition of inorganic salts, which provides, for the first time, a route to radically improve the BET surface area from 58 m2/g to 1152 m2/g. PTPA initially shows a broad distribution of micropores, mesopores and macropores. However, the addition of salts narrows the pore size distribution to the microporous range only, mimicking COFs and MOFs. We furthermore, show the ability to fine-tune the surface area of PTPA using salts with different sized anions (including NaF, NaCl, NaBr, NaI) or cations (LiNO3, NaNO3, KNO3, Ba(NO3)2); the surface area shows a gradual decrease with an increase in the ionic radius of salts. We propose that the effect of the salt on the physical properties of the polymer is mainly owing to adjusting and optimizing the Hansen solubility parameters (HSPs) of solvents for the growing polymer, resulting in the phase separation of the product during polymerization at a much later stage. This approach, named the Bristol-Xi’an Jiaotong (BXJ) approach, results in N-containing polymers possessing a lower average pore diameter and larger surface area, with overall highly desirable and tuneable properties.

    Research areas

  • conjugated microporous polymer, metal-catalysed cross-couplings, tuneable properties, Hansen Solubility Parameters



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