Luminescent and Swellable Conjugated Microporous Polymers for Detecting Nitroaromatic Explosives and Removing Harmful Organic Vapors

Long Pan, Zilu Liu, Mi Tian, Bob Schroeder, Abil E. Aliev, Charl F. J. Faul

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Four new conjugated microporous polymers (CMPs) were synthesized by a Buchwald-Hartwig (BH) cross-coupling reaction of tri-and tetrafunctionalized precursors to yield materials with tunable surface area and pore size distribution. This approach yielded LPCMP1-4, CMPs with significantly higher Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface areas (more than 5 times higher) than other related BH-based CMPs. These CMPs possess not only high BET specific surface areas and high chemical and thermal stabilities, but also exhibit outstanding swellability. To the best of our knowledge, swellable behavior was studied in great detail for CMPs for the first time, with the greatest degree of swelling for methanol reaching 16.5 and 16.3 mL g -1 for LPCMP1 and LPCMP3, respectively. Owing to their excellent swellability, we further studied the adsorption capacity of these CMPs for different toxic organic vapors (including toluene and methanol). LPCMP1 and LPCMP3 adsorbed 124 and 117 mg g -1 toluene, respectively, at saturated vapor pressure. For methanol, the adsorption capacities of LPCMP1 and LPCMP3 were up to 250 and 215 mg g -1, respectively, which are the highest recorded values when compared with published data for CMPs, HCPs, MOFs, and porous carbons. These materials are promising candidates for the removal and elimination of hazardous organic vapors and chemical warfare agents. Moreover, all the polymers show high sensitivity to nitroaromatic explosives. LPCMP2 and LPCMP4 exhibit high selectivity for TNT and may be suitable as new candidates to selectively detect TNT for security or environmental applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48352-48362
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number51
Early online date2 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2019


  • conjugated microporous polymers
  • detection of nitroaromatic
  • fluorescence
  • methanol adsorption
  • swellability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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