Synthesis and characterization of comb-polymers with controlled structure

Elhrari, Wael (2006-12)

Thesis (MSc (Chemistry and Polymer Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


Synthesis of a series of poly (methylmethacrylate)-graft-poly (styrene) polymer was carried out via free radical polymerization of methylmethacrylate and polystyrene macromonomers. The macromonomers were synthesized via living anionic polymerization techniques. Two series of macromonomers where synthesized with different polymerizable end group functionalities, by termination with p-vinyl benzyl chloride and 3-(dimethyl chloro silyl) propyl methacrylate. The branch density was varied by controlling the composition feed ratio of the macromonomers to comonomer. Liquid chromatographic techniques were used to fully characterize the chemical composition and branch distributions of the graft polymer. Liquid chromatography under critical conditions of adsorption of styrene coupling with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra was used to investigate the chemical composition and distribution of the branches in the graft. Physical properties of the graft copolymers such as Tg and free volume were determined using differential scanning calorimetry and positron lifetime spectrometry respectively. The relationship between the chemical composition and the graft copolymer properties such as Tg and free volume were investigated. The results show that for long chain macromonomers phase segregation occurs in the graft copolymers. In the case of shorter chain macromonomers at low content no phase segregation is observed and the macromonomers have an antiplasticization effect on the graft polymers.

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