Macro- and Mesoporous Polymers Synthesized by a CO2-in-Ionic Liquid Emulsion-Templating Route
Porous polymers have received much interest due to their wide range of applications in catalysis, gas separation, structure replication, electrode materials, etc. It is particularly appealing to synthesize macro- and mesoporous polymers because hierarchical porous structures have the advantages of each class of hierarchical pores and offer transport and diffusion pathways, especially for larger guest species. Herein, we propose a CO2-in-ionic liquid (IL) emulsion templating route for the synthesis of porous polymers. The polymerization is initiated by UV irradiation to get a fast polymerization rate. Highly porous polyacrylamide and poly(trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate) with hierarchical macro- and mesoporousstructures were obtained, and the porosity properties can be easily tuned by the control of pressure. The as-synthesized polymers combine both advantages of mesopores and macropores andhave shown application potential in catalysis. The CO2-in-IL emulsion templating route can be applied to the synthesis of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers owing to the well solvency of IL for a wide range ofcompounds.This work has been published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2013, 52, 1792-1795).