Grafting high content of imidazolium polymer brushes on graphene oxide for nanocomposite membranes with enhanced anion transport

Jianshe Wang, Huiling Chen, Yingying Ma, Huijuan Bai, Benbing Shi, Chunli Hou, Jingtao Wang, Yifan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Polymer functionalized nanoparticles have attracted burgeoning interests in designing and fabricating novel nanocomposite membranes for fast transport of ions or small molecules. Herein, imidazolium polymer coated graphene oxides (AImGOs), bearing different length of polymer brushes, are synthesized via ATRP technique, and thus a very high weight percentage of imidazolium polymer brushes on GO (up to 89.5%) is acquired, corresponding to a high IEC value up to 65.5 mmol g−1. The as-synthesized AImGOs are then dispersed into poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to prepare nanocomposite membranes. The polymer brushes coated on AImGOs render better interfacial compatibility and filler dispersity. The large specific surface area and high aspect ratio of GO contributes to the enhancement of swelling resistance and mechanical stability of membranes. More importantly, the imidazolium polymer brushes on AImGOs endow the membrane with efficient OH– conduction ability due to the high loading of OH– hopping sites, the flexible chain, and the intrinsic large surface area of GO, demonstrating that efficient OH−-hopping pathways are constructed along the interface between PVA matrix and AImGO. By lengthening the polymer brushes, increasing AImGO content, and adopting appropriate types of imidazolium cations, a remarkable increment of OH– conductivity are observed. To be noted, long polymer brushes quaternized with ethyl chloroformate yield zwitterion type functionality, entitling the highest OH– conductivity of 31.6 mS cm−1 at 30 °C (100% RH).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104447
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-02-08
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the financial supports from National Natural Science Foundation of China (21878277, 21506196, 21576244 and 21476215), Natural Science Foundation of Henan province (182300410268), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2015M570633 and 2017T100538), and Excellent Youth Development Foundation of Zhengzhou University (1521324002). We also gratefully acknowledge the financial supports from China Scholarship Council and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and the instrument support from Center of Advanced Analysis & Computational Science, Zhengzhou University.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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