Functional Poly(p-Xylylene)s via Chemical Reduction of Poly(p-Phenylene Vinylene)s

The synthesis of poly(p-xylylene)s (PPXs) with sidechains containing alkyl bromide functionality, and their post-polymer modification, is described. The PPXs were prepared by a diimide hydrogenation of poly(p-phenylene vinylene)s (PPVs) that were originally synthesized by a Gilch polymerization. The polymer backbone reduction was carried out with hydrazine hydrate in toluene at 80 °C to provide polymers with the sidechain-containing bromide functionality intact. To demonstrate post-polymer modification of the sidechains, the resulting PPX polymers were modified with trimethylamine to form tetraalkylammonium ion functionality and were evaluated as anion conducting membranes. While PPX homopolymers containing tetralkylammonium ions were completely water soluble and not able to form valuable films, PPX copolymers containing mixed tetraalkylammonium ions and hydrophobic chains were capable of film formation and alkaline stability. In addition, an in situ crosslinking process that used N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-1,6-hexanediamine during the tetraalkylammonium formation of brominated PPX polymers was also evaluated and gave reasonable films with conductivities of ~10 mS-cm-1.