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Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity

Membrane Materials, Characterization, and Module Design

  1. Neil B. McKeown1,
  2. Peter M. Budd2

Published Online: 27 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118522318.emst057

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

How to Cite

McKeown, N. B. and Budd, P. M. 2013. Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity. Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology. 1–17.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

  2. 2

    University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 SEP 2013


Polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) are emerging as promising materials for making organic membranes. PIMs are high free volume polymers that behave as classical microporous materials as demonstrated by gas adsorption, despite lacking a network of covalent bonds. However, unlike network-based microporous materials, they have the advantage of being soluble in organic solvents and are solution processable into forms suitable for membrane fabrication. The intrinsic microporosity of PIMs arises from the contorted shape and rigidity of the component macromolecules, which prevents space-efficient packing. Here, the methods of synthesis of PIMs of relevance to membrane studies are described and important methods of characterizing intrinsic microporosity, such as gas absorption, are outlined and structure-property relationships explained. Finally, the research on PIMs as membrane materials for organic nanofiltration, pervaporation, and particularly gas and vapor separations, are described.


  • polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIM);
  • gas separation;
  • pervaporation;
  • nanofiltration;
  • membrane material