One-Step, Room Temperature Synthesis of Well-Defined, Organo-Soluble Multifunctional Aromatic Polyimides

Sandra L. Aristizábal, Ola S. Habboub, Bruno Antonio Pulido Ponce de Leon, Enoc Cetina-Mancilla, Lilian I. Olvera, Michael Forster, Suzana Pereira Nunes, Ullrich Scherf, Mikhail G. Zolotukhin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Efficient and ambient synthesis of aromatic polyimides (PIs) from readily available starting materials remains a very challenging task in polymer chemistry. Herein, we report for the first time a robust, one-step synthesis of organo-soluble functional aromatic PIs. Room temperature, metal-free, superacid (TFSA)-catalyzed step polymerization of aryl-terminated diimides with carbonyl compounds (2,2,2-trifluoroacetophenone and indoline-2,3-dione (isatin)) afforded 14 high-molecular-weight, linear, film-forming PIs. The effect of structural variation of the dianhydride segment, the amount of catalyst, and monomer concentration were studied. The PIs were obtained in quantitative yields, with high thermal stabilities up to 525 °C and 55% weight residue at 800 °C under an inert atmosphere and number-average molecular weights (Mn) in a range of 51–195 kg mol–1. Well-controlled proportions of the functional phenolic hydroxyl groups (at the ortho-position to the imide ring) and diaryloxindole reactive sites were introduced into macromolecules during polyimide syntheses, while pendent allyl and propargyl groups were formed by the chemical postpolymerization reactions. Subsequent modifications of the reactive sites using click-chemistry can afford multifunctional polymers with tunable properties. The thermal postpolymerization modification of polyhydroxyimides converts them into polybenzoxazoles (so-called thermally rearranged polymers).
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-12-14
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRG6, URF/1/3441-01-01
Acknowledgements: The authors thank King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for the financial support, CRG6 grant URF/1/3441-01-01, DGAPA-UNAM for the support (PAPIIT IN103920, IN105314, and IA100321), and CONACYT México (grants 251693, CB-A1-S-17967, and UC MEXUS-CONACYT grant CN-19-165). The authors are indebted to O. J. Alvarez, E. R. Morales, and M. E. Hernandez for help with polymer characterizations and to A. Lopez-Vivas and Alejandro Pompa for technical help

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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