Transition metal ion co-ordination in hydrophilic polymer membrane

  • A.L. Lewis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis is concerned with the investigation of transition metal (TM) ion complexation with hydrophilic membranes composed of copolymers of 4-vinyl pyridine & 4-methyl-4'vinyl- 2,2'-bipyridine with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate. The Cu(II), CoCII) & Fe(II) complexes with these coordinating membranes were characterised by a variety of techniques, in order to assess the effect of the polymer on the properties of the complex, and vice versa. A detailed programme of work was instigated into the kinetics of formation for the polymer-bound tris(bipyridyl) iron(II) complex; the rate and extent of complex formation was found to be anion-dependent. This is explained in terms of the influence of the anion on the transport properties and water content of the membrane, the controlling factor in the development of the tris-complex being the equilibrium concentration of Fe(II) in the gel matrix.
A series of transport studies were performed with a view to the potential application of complexing hydrogel membranes for aqueous TM ion separations. A number of salts were studied individually and shown to possess a range of permeabilities; the degree of interaction between particular metal-ion:ligand combinations is given by the lag-time observed before steady-state permeation is achieved. However, when two TM salts that individually display different transport properties were studied in combination, they showed similar lag-times & permeabilities, characteristic of the more strongly coordinating metal ion. This 'anti-selective' nature thus renders the membrane systems unsuitable for TM ion separations. Finally, attempts were made to synthesise and immobilise a series of N ,0-donor macrocyclic ligands into hydrogel membranes. Although the functionalisation reactions failed, limited transport data was obtained from membranes in which the ligands were physically entrapped within the polymer matrix.
Date of AwardSept 1991
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJ.D. Miller (Supervisor)


  • complexing membrane
  • hydrogel
  • iron(II)tris(bipyridine)
  • anti-selective transport
  • macrocycles

Cite this