Factors affecting the formation of the monomer sequence along styrene/methyl methacrylate gradient copolymer chains

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41 Scopus citations

Abstract

The impact of the synthesis conditions on the formation of the monomer sequences of styrene (S) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) gradient copolymers synthesized by forced gradient copolymerization with nitroxide-mediated controlled radical polymerization (NM-CRP) was investigated using kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations. The factors affecting the formation of the individual segments, arrangement of these segments along the chain, and the uniformity of monomer sequences were investigated. It was shown that instantaneous segment lengths increase exponentially as a function of monomer composition. The concentration of nitroxyl radicals also plays a key role in the formation of segment lengths. In addition, the arrangement of the segments mainly depends on the feed profile of the second monomer. A constant feed profile, which is widely used in current syntheses of gradient copolymers, is shown to not be suitable to make a structural gradient along the chain. It was also demonstrated that the uniformity of sequence patterns can be affected by the entire growth history of the chains, and thus strong control over the uniformity of chain growth is required throughout the reaction in order to achieve sequences in different chains that resemble one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8118-8128
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecules
Volume42
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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