In Situ Raman Spectroscopy as a Tool for Structural Insight into Cation Non-Ionomeric Polymer Interactions during Ion Transport

Polymers (Basel). 2018 Apr 9;10(4):416. doi: 10.3390/polym10040416.


Low-modified liquid-crystalline polyether (CP36), as a model compound, was synthesised with the purpose of preparing a membrane with columnar ionic channels. A free-standing cation permselective biomimetic membrane was successfully prepared and found to have channels made of polymeric columns homeotropically oriented, which was confirmed in X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. A first insight into a real-time interaction between two selected cations: H⁺ and Na⁺, and polyether during transport through the polymeric membrane was demonstrated using joined chronoamperometry and Raman spectroscopy techniques. Raman studies unveiled the possibility for smaller protons to bypass the usual ionic pathway via polyetheric chain and use outer part of ionic channel for conduction thanks to ester bonds.

Keywords: Raman spectroscopy; cation permselectivity; in situ ion transport.