Interfacial Polymerization at the Alkane/Ionic Liquid Interface
Liu, C., Yang, J., Guo, B.-B., Agarwal, S., Greiner, A. and Xu, Z.-K.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202103555
Polymerization at the liquid–liquid interface has attracted much attention for synthesizing ultrathin polymer films for molecular sieving. However, it remains a major challenge to conduct this process outside the alkane–water interface since it not only suffers water-caused side reactions but also is limited to water-soluble monomers. Here, we report the interfacial polymerization at the alkane/ionic liquid interface (IP@AILI) where the ionic liquid acts as the universal solvent for diversified amines to synthesize task-specific polyamide nanofilms. We propose that IP@AILI occurs when acyl chloride diffuses from the alkane into the ionic liquid instead of being triggered by the diffusion of amines as in the conventional alkane–water system, which is demonstrated by thermodynamic partitioning and kinetic monitoring. The prepared polyamide nanofilms with precisely adjustable pore sizes display unprecedented permeability and selectivity in various separation processes.