Gas sorption, diffusion, and permeation in poly(dimethylsiloxane)

T. C. Merkel*, V. I. Bondar, K. Nagai, B. D. Freeman, I. Pinnau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1045 Scopus citations


The permeability of poly(dimethylsiloxane) [PDMS] to H2, O2, N2, CO2, CH4, C2H6, C3H8, CF4, C2F6, and C3F8, and solubility of these penetrants were determined as a function of pressure at 35 °C. Permeability coefficients of perfluorinated penetrants (CF4, C2F6, and C3F8) are approximately an order of magnitude lower than those of their hydrocarbon analogs (CH4, C2H6, and C3H8), and the perfluorocarbon permeabilities are significantly lower than even permanent gas permeability coefficients. This result is ascribed to very low perfluorocarbon solubilities in hydrocarbon-based PDMS coupled with low diffusion coefficients relative to those of their hydrocarbon analogs. The perfluorocarbons are sparingly soluble in PDMS and exhibit linear sorption isotherms. The Flory-Huggins interaction parameters for perfluorocarbon penetrants are substantially greater than those of their hydrocarbon analogs, indicating less favorable energetics of mixing perfluorocarbons with PDMS. Based on the sorption results and conventional lattice solution theory with a coordination number of 10, the formation of a single C3F8/PDMS segment pair requires 460 J/mol more energy than the formation of a C3H8/PDMS pair. A breakdown in the geometric mean approximation of the interaction energy between fluorocarbons and hydrocarbons was observed. These results are consistent with the solubility behavior of hydrocarbon-fluorocarbon liquid mixtures and hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon gas solubility in hydrocarbon liquids. From the permeability and sorption data, diffusion coefficients were determined as a function of penetrant concentration. Perfluorocarbon diffusion coefficients are lower than those of their hydrocarbon analogs, consistent with the larger size of the fluorocarbons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-434
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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