Synthesis and characterization of polyimide/polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane nanocomposites containing quinolyl moiety



A series of functional polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)/polyimide (PI) nanocomposites were prepared using a two-step approach. First, octa(aminophenyl)silsesquioxane (OAPS) was mixed with poly(amic acid) (PAA) prepared by reacting bis(4-amino-3,5-dimethylphenyl)-3-quinolylmethane and 3,3′,4,4′-benzophenonetetracarboxylic dianhydride. Second, the resulting solution was subjected to thermal imidization. The well-defined ‘hard particles’ (POSS) and the strong covalent bonds in the amide linkage between the carbon atom of the carboxyl side group in PAA and the nitrogen atom of the amino group in POSS lead to a significant improvement in the thermal and mechanical properties. Homogeneous dispersion of POSS cages in the PI is evident from scanning electron microscopy, which further confirms that the POSS molecule becomes an integral part of the organic-inorganic inter-crosslinked network system. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis show that the glass transition temperatures of the POSS-containing nanocomposites are higher than that of the corresponding neat PI system, owing to the significant increase of the crosslinking density in the PI/POSS nanocomposites. Increasing the concentration of OAPS in the PI networks decreases the dielectric constant. Pure PI and PI/POSS systems have good antimicrobial activity. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry