Functionalized Porous Polymer Nanocomposites via Introducing Functional Components into Emulsion Systems


Functional porous polymer films are of great interest to academia as well as industry for a variety of applications, such as gas separation, water purification and sensors. A porous structure can not only reduce the density of the material, but can also remarkably increase the surface/interface area, which can be used for various functionalizations. There are several ways to fabricate porous films, such as the self-assembly of water droplets known as the ‘breath figure’ (BF) technique, water/oil emulsion technology, and stretching techniques. This invention is on development of porous polymer nanocomposite films with designed functionalizations through an effective and facile approach for broad applications in electronics, energy, and environment.

Application and Advantage

Studies on porous films prepared by the techniques above have been focused on the control of the pore structures (the size, for example). No report has been found on how to functionalize the pores. For example, existing emulsion technology, which can lead to a simple system including oil and water phases, has been employed to produce porous films. However, we found that, for water/oil emulsion systems, the design of the compositions in the water phase or the oil phase can enable us to fabricate new multi-functional nanocomposites with (D2) of various nanofillers or active materials (for simplicity, we will call this D2 polymer nanocomposites as D2-PNCs). The most powerful advantage for porous D2-PNCs is that one can obtain the desired material functions by designing the compositions in the water or oil phase. For example, high performance (low percolation level for conduction) conductive polymer composites can be obtained in D2-PNCs by design of a network-like distribution and a good quality of dispersion of conductive nanofillers in the nanocomposites

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Scott Steiger
Associate Director
Washington State University
(509) 335-7065
Reference No: 1382-CEA-OC


Yu Wang
Weihong Zhong
Bin Li

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