The proposed project aims to design and synthesize series of conducting porous organic polymers for highly efficient desalination and reverse electrodialysis. The project involves tailoring the synthesis of pi-electron-rich porous polymers featuring impressive surface area by effective utilization of rich covalent chemistry. The planned synthesis potentially results in various polymers and/or membranes with high specific capacitance and pre-designed network structures with a highly accessible surface area. These materials will be tested for their ability as either anode or cathode material in electro-desalination cells that includes capacitive deionization (CDI) and reverse electrodialysis (RED). This investigation will be part of a larger active research on the development of efficient polymers and/or membranes for water purification and desalination applications.
The key outcomes of the project will be to generate new chemistries towards porous polymeric electrode materials and develop a library of valuable conducting materials to support RED-based desalination. The primary role of the student is to conduct the designed experiments to synthesize a series of polymers and their complete characterizations including photophysical properties. Based on the screening, lead polymers will be tested for their electrochemical performance. The student will have hands-on experience in material synthesis, characterizations, and desalination process.