(217dl) Analysis and Observation of Bulk Polymer Properties in Alkyl-Imidazole Based Poly(Ionic Liquids)

Horne, W. J., University of Alabama
Bara, J. E., University of Alabama
Hayward, S. S., University of Alabama
Shannon, M. S., University of Alabama
Terrill, K., University of Alabama

Alkyl-functionalized poly(ILs) have been studied as potential compounds for use in membranes for gas separations, as well as many other potential applications.  Rather than looking at the microscale as has been the case in the recent past, in this project we focus on the macromolecular properties of alkyl-functionalized poly(ILs).  Uniform quantities and shapes of the polymers were formed via ultraviolet polymerization under vacuum in a custom-designed and built chamber manufactured via 3D printing.  Varying lengths of alkyl chains were utilized at different functional positions of the imidizole ring to determine their effect of the physical properties of the bulk polymer. Polymers were then analyzed for said properties;  it was determined that the polymers exhibit self-healing characteristics in addition to maintaining shape-memory.  Polymer swelling experiments were also performed to determine the compounds’ affinities for a variety of common laboratory solvents.  It was found that some polymers absorbed up to 350 times their mass in solvent in under 24 hours.  Additional analysis of the compounds' degrees of polymerization were performed via IR spectrophotometry.