Transition metal ion coordination in hydrophilic polymer membranes

  • Andrew J. Hall

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The research described within this thesis is concerned with the investigation of transition metal ion complexation within hydrophilic copolymer membranes. The membranes are copolymers of 4-methyl-4'-vinyl-2,2'-bipyridine, the 2-hydroxyethyl ester of 4,4'- dicarboxy-2,2'-bipyridine & bis-(5-vinylsalicylidene)ethylenediamine with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate. The effect of the polymer matrix on the formation and properties of transition metal iron complexes has been studied, specifically Cr(III) & Fe(II) salts for the bipyridyl- based copolymer membranes and Co(II), Ni(II) & Cu(II) salts for the salenH2- based copolymer membranes. The concomitant effect of complex formation on the properties of the polymer matrix have also been studied, e.g. on mechanical strength.
A detailed body of work into the kinetics and thermodynamics for the formation of Cu(II) complexes in the salenH2- based copolymer membranes has been performed. The rate of complex formation is found to be very slow while the value of K for the equilibrium of complex formation is found to be unexpectedly small and shows a slight anion dependence. These phenomena are explained in terms of the effects of the heterogeneous phase provided by the polymer matrix.
The transport of Cr(III) ions across uncomplexed and Cr(III)-pre-complexed bipyridyl-based membranes has been studied. In both cases, no Cr(III) coordination occurs within the time-scale of an experiment. Pre-complexation of the membrane does not lead to a change in the rate of permeation of Cr(III) ions.
The transport of Co(II), Ni(II) & Cu(II) ions across salenH2- based membranes shows that there is no detectable lag-time in transport of the ions, despite independent evidence that complex formation within the membranes does occur.
Finally, the synthesis of a number of functionalised ligands is described. Although they were found to be non-polymerisable by the methods employed in this research, they remain interesting ligands which provide a startmg pomt for further functionalisation.
Date of AwardSept 1994
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJ.D. Miller (Supervisor)


  • hydrogel
  • complexing membrane
  • 2,2'-Bipyridine
  • SalenH2

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