Microporous Polymer Networks

Microporous Polymer Networks (MPNs) feature pores of diameters below 2 nm and consequently very high surface areas and are exclusively built up from organic matter connected by covalent bonds. The synthetic concepts to prepare microporous polymers are highly diverse and range from metal catalyzed couplings to metal-free condensation reactions. The generation of microporosity and sometimes astonishing high surface areas in such polymers stems from the stable, covalent connection of rigid, contorted molecules, with at least two but most often three and more functional and polymerizable groups. Robustness and the possibility of introducing various functional groups make MPNs highly suitable candidates for a range of applications. Probably most intriguing is the possibility to bridge the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis by using molecular catalysts as maintaining building block for the generation of highly microporous networks, without the need for an additional porous support. This concept enables the introduction of the highest amount of catalytic active sites per surface area and mass of material.