Molecular engineering of PIM-1/Matrimid blend membranes for gas separation

W. F. Yong, F. Y. Li, Y. C. Xiao, P. Li, K. P. Pramoda, Y. W. Tong, T. S. Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


The polymers of intrinsic microporosity have gained the attention as one of the potential materials for membrane gas separation. The contorted ladder-like structure in polymers of intrinsic microporosity, specifically PIM-1 possesses high permeability but with moderate selectivity for O 2/N 2, CO 2/N 2 and CO 2/CH 4 separation. We report here the most convenient and time efficient strategy of tuning the permeability and selectivity by blending PIM-1 with different compositions of Matrimid. In this work, the physical properties, phase behavior and gas transport properties of PIM-1/Matrimid blends have been explored. The polarized light microscope (PLM) analyses evidence that most of the PIM-1/Matrimid blends reveal partially miscible behavior. The inclusion of PIM-1 in the Matrimid matrix results in a substantial increase in gas permeability and a slight decrease in selectivity. The additions of 5 and 10wt% PIM-1 into Matrimid induce the permeability increments of 25% and 77%, respectively from the original 9.6 to 12 and 17Barrer without compromising its CO 2/CH 4 selectivity. For O 2/N 2 separation, the incorporation of a small amount of Matrimid (e.g., 5-30wt%) into PIM-1 promotes a fair increase in selectivity and drives the overall gas separation performance surpassing or close to the upper bound. At binary gas tests of CO 2/CH 4 (50%/50%), the 30wt% PIM-1 in Matrimid membrane has a CO 2 permeability of 50Barrer and a CO 2/CH 4 selectivity of 31.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Jul 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas separation
  • Matrimid
  • PIM-1
  • Partially miscible
  • Polymer blend

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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