Of the polymer materials investigated as anion exchange membranes, trimethylbenzylammonium-containing polysulfones are the most extensively studied. They are commonly prepared by chloromethylation of the aromatic backbone or radical bromination of benzylic carbons, followed by a Menshutkin reaction between a tertiary amine and the benzyl halide. To overcome synthetic limitations involved with these two methods, we report the preparation of an anion exchange membrane by means of iridium-catalyzed C-H borylation followed by palladium-catalyzed Suzuki coupling. Owing to the use of mild reaction conditions and high efficiency of these metal-catalyzed reactions, we were able to minimize side reactions and easily control the degree of functionalization for a series of trimethylbenzylammonium-containing polysulfones. The resulting membranes exhibited lower water uptake while maintaining similar hydroxide conductivity and functional group stability as compared to the corresponding chloromethylation-prepared anion exchange membrane materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry