Postsynthetically Modified Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIMs) for Capturing Toxic Gases

Dahee Jung, Zhijie Chen, Selim Alayoglu, Mohammad Rasel Mian, Timothy A. Goetjen, Karam B. Idrees, Kent O. Kirlikovali, Timur Islamoglu, Omar K. Farha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) are promising materials for gas adsorption because of their high surface area, processability, and tailorable backbone. Specifically, nitrile groups on the backbone of PIM-1, an archetypal PIM, can be converted to other functional groups to selectively capture targeted gas molecules. Despite these appealing features of PIMs, their potential has mainly only been realized for the separation of nontoxic gases. Here, we prepared PIM-1 materials modified with carboxylic acid and amidoxime functional groups and investigated their performance as adsorbents for the capture of ammonia (NH3) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) gases. After determining the Brønsted acidity or basicity of the PIMs from potentiometric acid-base titrations, which can be correlated with affinity for acidic or basic toxic gases, we explored the uptake capacity toward NH3 and SO2, respectively. Gas sorption studies revealed that the carboxylated PIM showed higher affinity toward NH3 through the incorporation of Brønsted acid sites, while the amidoxime functionalized PIM exhibited affinity toward SO2 through the installed of slightly basic functional groups. Overall, this study highlights new insight into PIMs as solid sorbent materials for capturing toxic gases, which can be transferred to their potential use in practical applications, such as personal protective equipment or air filtration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10409-10415
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 3 2021


  • PIMs
  • ammonia
  • processable polymers
  • sulfur dioxide
  • toxic gases capture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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