Nanoporous Thermosets with Percolating Pores from Block Polymers Chemically Fixed above the Order-Disorder Transition

Thomas Vidil, Nicholas Hampu, Marc A. Hillmyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A lamellar diblock polymer combining a cross-linkable segment with a chemically etchable segment was cross-linked above its order-disorder temperature (TODT) to kinetically trap the morphology associated with the fluctuating disordered state. After removal of the etchable block, evaluation of the resulting porous thermoset allows for an unprecedented experimental characterization of the trapped disordered phase. Through a combination of small-angle X-ray scattering, nitrogen sorption, scanning electron microscopy, and electron tomography experiments we demonstrate that the nanoporous structure exhibits a narrow pore size distribution and a high surface to volume ratio and is bicontinuous over a large sample area. Together with the processability of the polymeric starting material, the proposed system combines attractive attributes for many advanced applications. In particular, it was used to design new composite membranes for the ultrafiltration of water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1120
Number of pages7
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR-1609459). The authors thank Prof. Frank Bates, Sujay Chopade, Dr. Mike Larsen, Stacey A. Saba, and Dr. Morgan Schulze for helpful discussions and input, Dr. Philip Dirlam for help with some of the curing experiments, Dr. Bongjoon Lee for TEM sample preparation, and Dr. Wei Zhang for TEM imaging. ±-Lactide was kindly provided by Altasorb. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program. Use of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, under Contract DE-AC02-06CH11357. SAXS measurements were performed at the DuPont-Northwestern-Dow Collaborative Access Team (DND-CAT) located at Sector 5 of the APS, supported by E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., The Dow Chemical Company, and Northwestern University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Shared

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 4

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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