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Lau Sam

Lau Sam

University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Title: Tailoring compatibility in ultrapermeable polymer blends to switch off plasticization and physical ageing


Biography: Lau Sam


Despite the rapid evolution of material science, it remains difficult to deploy new polymers that are inadequate to meet the stringent demands of industrial membrane separations.  Polymer membranes must be ultrapermeable, selective, and resistant to both physical aging, and plasticization.  Polymers with intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) are ultrapermeable, yet vulnerable to physical aging and plasticization. Here we show that aging and plasticization in PIMs can be switched on and off through compatibility with a microporous polymer, porous aromatic frameworks (PAFs).  By replacing bulky methyl groups with smaller hydro groups, we remove the ability of a PIM polymer matrix to interact with PAFs; accelerating both physical aging and plasticization. Meanwhile PAFs tailors physical aging and annihilates plasticization in the original methylated PIM via physical interactions at specific locations on the PIM polymer chains. This benefits hydrogen recovery at realistic operating conditions; enabling the implementation of polymer membranes as a stand-alone separation technology, a paradigm shift from existing hybrid methods.

Recent Publications :

  1. Cheng XQ, Konstas K, Doherty CM, wood CD, Mulet X, Xie Z, Ng D, Hill MR, Shao L, Lau CH (2017) Hypercrosslinked additives that impede aging and enhance permeability in thin polyacetylenes films for organic solvent nanofiltration. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 9:14401 - 14408.
  2. Cheng XQ, Konstas K, Doherty CM, wood CD, Mulet X, Xie Z, Ng D, Hill MR, Lau CH, Shao L (2017) Organic microporous nanofillers with unique alcohol affinity for superior ethanol recovery toward sustainable biofuels. ChemSusChem 10:1887-1891.
  3. Lau CH, Mulet X, Konstas K, Doherty CM, Sani M-A, Sepravoic F, Hill MR, Wood CD. (2015) Hypercrosslinked additives for ageless gas separation membranes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 55:1998-2001.
  4. Lau CH, Konstas K, Thornton AW, Liu ACY, Mudie S, Kennedy DF, Howard SC, Hill AJ, Hill MR (2005) Gas separation membranes loaded with porous aromatic frameworks that improve with age. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 54:2669-2673.

5. Lau CH, Nguyen PT, Hill MR, Thornton AW, Konstas K, Doherty CM, Mulder RJ, Bourgeois L, Liu ACY, Sprouster DJ, Sullivan JP, Bastow TJ, Hill AJ, Gin DL, Noble RD (2014) Ending Aging in super glassy polymer membranes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 53:5322-5326.