A study on the interfacial compatibility, microstructure and physico-chemical properties of polyimide/organically modified silica nanocomposite membrane

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Polyimide-silica (PI-Silica) composites are of tremendous research interest as high-performance materials because of their excellent thermal and mechanical properties and chemical resistance to organic solvents. Particularly, the sol-gel method of fabricating such composites is popular for manipulating their properties. In this work, PI-silica composite films are synthesized by the sol-gel method and thermal imidization from the solution mixtures of hydrolyzed tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) (or glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPMS)) modified silica and an aromatic polyamic acid (PAA) based on 3,3 ,4,4 -biphenyl tetracarboxylic dianhydride (BPDA)–p-phenylenediamine (PDA). The phase morphology of composites is found to be controlled by the substitution of TEOS with GPMS. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy is used to confirm the structural components of silica and GPMS-modified silica, whereas FT-IR results confirm the complete imidization of polyimide and composite film and suggest successful incorporation of Si–O–Si bonds into polyimide. The thermal, optical transmittance, and dielectric constant characterizations of pure polyimide and composite films are also carried out. Thermal stability of pure polyimide is found to be increased significantly by the addition of silica, whereas the partial substitution of TEOS with GPMS decreases the thermal stability of the composite, due to the presence of the alkyl organic segment of GPMS. The optical transmittance and dielectric constant of the composite films are controlled by manipulating the GPMS content. ′ ′

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Department of Sport and Recreation, Government of Western Australia



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