Physical and Gas Permeation Properties of a Series of Novel Hybrid Inorganic-Organic Composites Based on a Synthesized Fluorinated Polyimide
Cornelius, Chris James
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A series of hybrid inorganic-organic composites were fabricated from a functionalized fluorinated polyimide and tetraethoxysilane (TEOS), tetramethoxysilane, methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMOS), and phenyltrimethoxy-silane (PTMOS) employing the sol-gel process. Polyimides were synthesized from 4,4'-hexafluoroisopropylidene dianiline (6FpDA) and 4,4'-hexafluoroisopropyl-idenediphthalic anhydride (6FDA) utilizing a solution imidization technique. The hybrid materials were synthesized by in-situ sol-gel processing of the aforementioned alkoxides and a fully imidized polyimide that was functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane. The gas permeability, diffusivity, and selectivity were evaluated for He, O2, N2, CH4, and CO2, while the physical properties of these hybrid materials were evaluated using several analytical techniques. The results from this study revealed that gas transport and physical properties were dependent on the type of alkoxide employed in the hybrid inorganic-organic material. Gas permeability was observed to increase with increasing gas penetrant size for MTMOS and PTMOS based hybrids, while TEOS based hybrids decreased gas permeability at all compositions. In general, MTMOS based hybrid materials had the largest increases in permeability, which was attributed to an increase in free volume. The TEOS based hybrid materials had the largest decreases in permeability, while PTMOS based hybrid materials had performance in between these alkoxides. Decreased permeability for the TEOS based hybrids was attributed to the formation of lower permeable material at a particle interface and coupled with increasing tortuosity. Results of PALS studies suggested that there was an increase in free volume and pore size for MTMOS based hybrids, while both TEOS and PTMOS based hybrids had decreases in both average pore size and free volume. The temperature dependence of permeation, diffusivity, and sorption were evaluated from 35oC to 125oC. These results suggested that there was a decrease in solubility for all hybrids employed in this study. Furthermore, increases in permeability for the MTMOS based hybrids were created by increased penetrant diffusion. Physical property studies revealed that the type of inorganic material incorporated into the hybrid influences the degree of swelling, bulk density, Tg, and thermal stability. Hybrid materials were also created employing 3,5-diaminobenzoic acid (DABA) in the synthesis of modified 6FDA-6FpDA polyimides in order to evaluate how improvements in inorganic and polymer compatibility influenced the gas transport properties. From this separate study, it was found that increases in both permeability and selectivity were possible. The mechanism attributed to this simultaneous increase in permeability and selectivity was the formation of a more permeable and selective interphase at the interface of an inorganic particle and the polymer matrix. In addition to these studies, 6FDA-6FpDA polyimide molecular weights were changed from 19.3K to 35.3K to probe its role on gas transport and physical properties. These studies revealed that permeability, diffusivity, and solubility increased with increasing molecular weight, while density decreased with increasing molecular weight. These results suggest that there is an increase in free volume with increasing 6FDA-6FpDA polyimide molecular weight.
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