iPOSS membranes

Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology


iPOSS refers to hybrid organic - inorganic (polyhedral silsesquioxane) polymer networks, in the form of self-supporting or supported ultra-thin (~100 nm) films.

The preparation of these films is based on the principle of interfacial polymerization, in which thin film formation and polymerization are combined in a single step by dissolving two monomers in two different immiscible solvents. Film formation occurs at the interface between these two immiscible solvents where the monomers react. The formed interfacial thin film separates the two reactants causing the reaction to be self-terminating, innately avoiding the formation of thicker films, and promoting the self-healing of defects such as pinholes. The thin hybrid films combine intrinsic local ordering of inorganic and organic constituents on the molecular scale with potentially infinite lateral macroscopic dimensions, are robust and flexible, and exhibit molecular selectivity in gas and liquid permeation experiments. The developed method allows for macromolecular network design of ultrathin hybrid films, with high loading of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) molecules, covalently linked to a variety of organic groups, distributed homogeneously on a molecular level. The adaptable and distinct properties of the resulting films are beneficial for a broad variety of applications. 

For more information contact Nieck Benes (n.e.benes@utwente.nl)

M. Dalwani, J. Zheng, M. Hempenius, M.J.T. Raaijmakers, C. Doherty, A.J. Hill, M. Wessling, and N.E. Benes, “Ultra-Thin Hybrid Polyhedral Silsesquioxane-Polyamide Films with Potentially Unlimited 2D Dimensions,” Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22 14835-14838 (2012).