Real time characterization of infiltration processes: Chemical interaction and transport in polymers (INTRAPOL) (2023-2025)
INTRAPOL will focus on the investigation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the formation of hybrid polymer-inorganic materials by vapor phase infiltration (VPI). This implies reaching an understanding of both transport and reactivity of precursor and reactive molecules with polymer functionalities and with each other within the microporous polymer. The infiltration and reaction of precursor and reactant will be addressed separately using a combination of ex-situ (XPS, FTIR, ToFSIMS) and “operando” characterization methods (quartz microbalance, near ambient pressure XPS, and gas phase analysis by mass spectrometry). The work program is developed around three main blocks: (i) investigation of the infiltration-reaction behavior of precursor molecules by in-situ QCM, (ii) investigation of the infiltration-reaction behavior of the reactant (water) by operando NAP-XPS and gas analysis, and (iii) theoretical investigation of possible reaction paths.
This coordinated three-sided approach aims to advance the understanding of chemical interaction, reaction mechanisms and transport phenomena in polymers. The knowledge obtained will enable to develop future VPI process in order to tune and predict the material properties of specific polymer/inorganic composites targeting specific applications.