Recent work in the FIF group showed a promising class of membranes for gas separation (Raaijmakers et al. (2014)). These membranes are based on a hyper-cross-linked network of POSS and a dianhydride, and are stable up to 300 C. Above this temperature these membranes suffer from thermal degradation. The most likely pathway for degradation is the cleavage of the alkyl side group present in the POSS molecule that is used for the material synthesis.
Replacing the alkyl the side group of the POSS molecule can increase the thermal stability of these membranes. In this assignment the student will focus on the synthesis of POSS molecules with a thermally robust side group R. The resulting will be characterized by, for example, NMR, FTIR, TGA-MS. Furthermore the potential as membrane material of the new synthesized POSS will be tested.
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