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Title: Semicrystalline Structure in Hydrogenated Norbornene-Methylnorbornene Statistical Copolymers
Authors: Showak, Michael Thomas
Advisors: Register, Richard A.
Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: Crystallinity in polymers is controlled by a variety of factors, one of which is the ability of the chains to align into the regular structures required for crystallization. Studies have shown that the degree of crystallization and the crystallite thickness are highly affected by any defects along the chain. Quantification of these effects has been undertaken in published reports on some polymer systems by copolymerizing two monomer units which differ by the presence of an extra side group substituent on one of the monomers or a difference in this substituent between the two monomers. Hydrogenated polynorbornene-based copolymers have not yet been studied for similar effects from the introduction of side groups. In addition to a melting point, hydrogenated ring-opened polynorbornene exhibits a thermoreversible crystal-crystal transition, a change from one crystal polymorph to another, at a temperature below the melting point. The exact temperature of this transition is highly sensitive to the tacticity of the polymer. Based on these results, the unstudied area of the effects of copolymerization of norbornene with substituted norbornene comonomers is expected to reveal similar sensitive changes in polymer crystallinity and transition temperature. For this study, the effects of copolymerizing norbornene with a small amount of methylnorbornene have been examined. Compositional and kinetic control of the copolymerization are first proven, and reactivity ratios are given. Thermal analysis of hydrogenated copolymers reveals that the melting point and crystal-crystal transition point are reduced by an amount proportional to the content of the methylnorbornene added for dilute comonomer contents (less than 8 mol % methylnorbornene). An examination of the X-ray diffraction patterns of the copolymers shows decreasing crystallinity and expansion of the unit cell with increasing comonomer content. A comparison of analogous copolymers incorporating hexylnorbornene is used to explore the relationship between substituent and copolymer structure, showing that a portion of the methylnorbornene comonomer is incorporated into the crystalline region.
Extent: 66 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Chemical and Biological Engineering, 1931-2017

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