Nanocomposite membranes consisting of poly(vinyl chloride) graft copolymer and surface-modified silica nanoparticles

Sung Hoon Ahn, Jung Tae Park, Jong Hak Kim, Youngdeok Ko, Seong Uk Hong

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19 Citations (Scopus)


A graft copolymer of poly(vinyl chloride)-graft-poly(oxyethylene methacrylate) (PVC-g-POEM) was synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), and fumed silica (SiO2) nanoparticles were modified by grafting POEM via a three-step synthetic approach. The resultant graft copolymer and modified SiO2 nanoparticles were solution blended to prepare PVC-g-POEM/SiO2-POEM nanocomposite membranes. Uniform distribution of SiO2-POEM nanoparticles in the membranes and microphase-separated morphology were confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed increased randomness in the amorphous phase of PVC-g-POEM and continuous decrease in the interchain d-spacing with increased SiO2-POEM content, indicating a more closely packed nanocomposite membrane structure. The mechanical properties of PVC-g-POEM/SiO2-POEM membranes were superior to those of PVC-g-POEM, resulting from strong interfacial interactions in the membranes due to the segregation and entanglement of the POEM chains. In addition, the permeation performances of the PVC-g-POEM/SiO2-POEM nanocomposite membranes were somewhat better than those of PVC-g-POEM, which showed excellent CO2/N2 and CO2/H2 separation capabilities. For example, the CO2 permeability and CO2/N2 selectivity of PVC-g-POEM/SiO2-POEM (2%) at 35 °C were 200 Barrer and 43, respectively. Thus, we successfully prepared membranes that deliver high permeation properties, as well as good mechanical properties. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1201
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecular Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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