Solubilizing Imide Precursors for Poorly Soluble Polymers
Daniel M. Knauss
Summary: A method for making polyimides and other rigid conjugated polymers via soluble
amide-ester precursors
Description: Aromatic polyimides have attracted a lot of interest over the last few decades due
to their exceptionally high chemical, photochemical, and thermo-oxidative stability, making
them uniquely suited for a wide range of applications. Completely aromatic polyimides lack
solution processibility and therefore are difficult to work with. This invention provides a
method for making soluble precursors to imides, polyimides, and polymers containing imide
groups. As a specific application, naphthalene and perylene imides and polyimides can be
produced as thin films by solution casting. A soluble precursor that contains an ortho- or alpha-
(in the case of naphthalene and perylene) substituted ester and amide is processed into a film
or fiber for application and then converted into an aryl imide group with loss of the solubilizing
ester group through reaction of the amide nitrogen with the ester. The resulting aryl imide is
expected to confer electronic properties on the molecule and change the packing of the
molecules. The method allows for imides and polyimides of naphthalene, perylene, and other
conjugated molecules to be synthesized to make polymer and small molecule films and to
combine electron accepting and electron donating groups in the same molecule.
Main Advantages of this Invention:
 High thermal stability compatible with high temperature processing
 Ability to more easily manipulate insoluble materials through a soluble precursor
Potential Areas of Application:
 Microelectronics
 Aerospace
 Liquid crystal displays
 Photoelectronics
ID number: # 13002
Intel ectual Property Status: US utility patent pending (application #14/169,089).
Opportunity: Seeking an exclusive or non-exclusive licensee for implementation of this
For more information contact:
William Vaughan, Director of Technology Transfer
Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Guggenheim Hall Suite 314, Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-2555; e-mail: