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Characterization of 6FDA-based hyperbranched and linear polyimide–silica hybrid membranes by gas permeation and 129Xe NMR measurements



Physical and gas transport properties of novel hyperbranched polyimide–silica hybrid membranes were investigated and compared with those of linear-type polyimide–silica hybrid membranes with similar chemical structures. Hyperbranched polyamic acid, as a precursor, was prepared by polycondensation of a triamine, 1,3,5-tris(4-aminophenoxy)benzene (TAPOB), and a dianhydride, 4,4′-(hexafluoroisopropylidene)diphthalic anhydride (6FDA). 6FDA-TAPOB hyperbranched polyimide–silica hybrids were prepared using the polyamic acid, water, and tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) by sol–gel reaction. 5% weight-loss temperature of the 6FDA-TAPOB hyperbranched polyimide–silica hybrids determined by TG-DTA measurement considerably increased with increasing silica content, indicating effective crosslinking at polymer–silica interface. CO2, O2, N2, and CH4 permeability coefficients of the 6FDA-based polyimide–silica hybrids increased with increasing silica content. In addition, CO2/CH4 selectivity of the 6FDA-TAPOB–silica hybrids remarkably increased with increasing silica content. From 129Xe NMR analysis, characteristic distribution and interconnectivity of cavities created around polymer–silica interface were suggested in the 6FDA-TAPOB–silica hybrids. It was indicated that size-selective separation ability is effectively brought by the incorporation of silica for the 6FDA-TAPOB hyperbranched polyimide–silica hybrid membranes. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 44: 291–298, 2006