Role of Lewis Basicity and van der Waals Forces in Adhesion of Silica MFI Zeolites (010) with Polyimides

Jung Hyun Lee, Beng Joo Reginald Thio, Tae Hyun Bae, J. Carson Meredith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Adhesion between zeolites and polymers is a central factor in achieving defect-free mixed-matrix membranes for energy-efficient gas separations. In this work, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to measure adhesion forces between a pure silica MFI (ZSM-5: Zeolite Socony Mobil-Five) (010) zeolite probe and a series of polyimide (Matrimid 5218,6FDA-DAM, 6FDA-6FpDA, and 6FDA-DAM:DABA (3:2)) and polyetherimide (Ultem 1000) polymers in air. Combined with measurements of surface energy of the polymer surfaces, the dependence of adhesion on polymer structure was determined. Adhesion force was strongly dependent on the Lewis basicity component of polymer surface energy and was less dependent on van der Waals (VDW) components, by a factor of about 6. Hydrogen bonding likely occurs between the acidic (electron acceptor) component of the zeolite surface (silanols or adsorbed water) and the basic (electron donor) component of the polymer surface. Adhesion force was strongly correlated with the mole fraction of carbonyls per monomer. We conclude that differences in adhesion as a function of polymer structure were primarily controlled by the polymer's Lewis basicity, contributed primarily by carbonyl groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9101-9107
Number of pages7
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 18
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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