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2020, 38(4): -
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REVIEW
Melt Crystallization of Poly(butylene 2,6-naphthalate)
Qian Ding, Michelina Soccio, Nadia Lotti, Dario Cavallo, René Androsch
2020, 38(4): 311-322  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2354-5
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Poly(butylene 2,6-naphthalate) (PBN) is a crystallizable linear polyester containing a rigid naphthalene unit and flexible methylene spacer in the chemical repeat unit. Polymeric materials made of PBN exhibit excellent anti-abrasion and low friction properties, superior chemical resistance, and outstanding gas barrier characteristics. Many of the properties rely on the presence of crystals and the formation of a semicrystalline morphology. To develop specific crystal structures and morphologies during cooling the melt, precise information about the melt-crystallization process is required. This review article summarizes the current knowledge about the temperature-controlled crystal polymorphism of PBN. At rather low supercooling of the melt, with decreasing crystallization temperature, β′- and α-crystals grow directly from the melt and organize in largely different spherulitic superstructures. Formation of α-crystals at high supercooling may also proceed via intermediate formation of a transient monotropic liquid crystalline structure, then yielding a non-spherulitic semicrystalline morphology. Crystallization of PBN is rather fast since its suppression requires cooling the melt at a rate higher than 6000 K·s−1. For this reason, investigation of the two-step crystallization process at low temperatures requires application of sophisticated experimental tools. These include temperature-resolved X-ray scattering techniques using fast detectors and synchrotron-based X-rays and fast scanning chip calorimetry. Fast scanning chip calorimetry allows freezing the transient liquid-crystalline structure before its conversion into α-crystals, by fast cooling to below its glass transition temperature. Subsequent analysis using polarized-light optical microscopy reveals its texture and X-ray scattering confirms the smectic arrangement of the mesogens. The combination of a large variety of experimental techniques allows obtaining a complete picture about crystallization of PBN in the entire range of melt-supercoolings down to the glass transition, including quantitative data about the crystallization kinetics, semicrystalline morphologies at the micrometer length scale, as well as nanoscale X-ray structure information.
ARTICLE
Achieving Efficient Thick Film All-polymer Solar Cells Using a Green Solvent Additive
Zhen-Ye Li, Wen-Kai Zhong, Lei Ying, Ning Li, Feng Liu, Fei Huang, Yong Cao
2020, 38(4): 323-331  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2356-3
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Advances in organic photovoltaic technologies have been geared toward industrial high-throughput printing manufacturing, which requires insensitivity of photovoltaic performance regarding to the light-harvesting layer thickness. However, the thickness of light-harvesting layer for all polymer solar cells (all-PSCs) is often limited to about 100 nm due to the dramatically decreased fill factor upon increasing film thickness, which hampers the light harvesting capability to increase the power conversion efficiency, and is unfavorable for fabricating large-area devices. Here we demonstrate that by tuning the bulk heterojunction morphology using a non-halogenated solvent, cyclopentyl methyl ether, in the presence of a green solvent additive of dibenzyl ether, the power conversion efficiency of all-PSCs with photoactive layer thicknesses of over 500 nm reached an impressively high value of 9%. The generic applicability of this green solvent additive to boost the power conversion efficiency of thick-film devices is also validated in various bulk heterojunction active layer systems, thus representing a promising approach for the fabrication of all-PSCs toward industrial production, as well as further commercialization.
Hierarchically Crosslinked Gels Containing Hydrophobic Ionic Liquids towards Reliable Sensing Applications
Xia-Chao Chen, Pei-Ru Sun, Hong-Liang Liu
2020, 38(4): 332-341  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2357-2
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Human skin can function steadily regardless of surrounding circumstances (dry or wet), while it is still a challenge for artificial ionic skins, which tend to release solvents in dry air and leach electrolytes in wetted state. Herein, a series of hierarchically crosslinked ionogels containing hydrophobic ionic liquids (ILs) is fabricated by combining a crystalline fluorinated copolymer with hydrophobic ILs. With a reasonable combination of nonvolatility, transparency, stretchablility, and sensitivity, such ionogels can work as reliable sensors for real-time monitoring human motions and operate steadily in complex environments as human skin does, which can contribute to the development of durable sensing devices with a simple design.
Unsymmetric Side Chains of Indacenodithiophene Copolymers Lead to Improved Packing and Device Performance
Ying Yang, Tong Shan, Jian Cao, Hua-Chun Wang, Ji-Kang Wang, Hong-Liang Zhong, Yun-Xiang Xu
2020, 38(4): 342-348  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2342-9
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Two conjugated polymers (PuIDTBD and PuIDTQ) with unsymmetric side chains have been prepared for polymer solar cells using two other polymers (PIDTBD and PIDTQ) with symmetric side chains as control compounds. The combination of methyl and 4-hexylphenyl side chains on the same bridged carbon can ensure good solubility, decrease π-π stacking distances, and bring proper miscibility with PC71BM simultaneously. Therefore, the corresponding polymer solar cells (PSCs) based on donor polymers with unsymmetric side chains exhibited enhanced short-circuit current density (JSC) and power conversion efficiency (PCE) compared with those of control polymers. The PIDTBD and PIDTQ based devices possessed low PCE of 2.13% and 1.48%, while PCEs of devices based on PuIDTBD and PuIDTQ were improved to 3.93% and 4.12%, respectively. The results demonstrate that unsymmetric side chain engineering of conjugated polymers is an effective approach to achieve high performance PSCs.
Ultrasound-responsive Homopolymer Nanoparticles
Bo Yang, Jian-Zhong Du
2020, 38(4): 349-356  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2345-6
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Noninvasive ultrasound is a more effective strategy for on-demand drug delivery of polymeric nanoparticles than many other stimuli. However, the preparation of ultrasound-responsive homopolymer nanoparticles is still very challenging. In this study, we disclose the regulating factors of ultrasound responsiveness of homopolymer nanoparticles and the disaggregation behavior of homopolymer nanoparticle aggregates. Homopolymer nanoparticles such as vesicles and large compound micelles (LCMs) are self-assembled from poly(methoxyethyl methacrylate) (PMEMA) and poly(amic acid) (PAA), respectively. The ultrasound responsiveness of PAA vesicles at metastable state could be regulated by tuning the self-assembly temperature (Ts), and was optimized when Ts is around the glass transition temperature (Tg) of PAA. However, the PMEMA LCMs did not respond to ultrasound as they are at stable state. On the other hand, poly(2-(2-ethoxyethoxy)ethyl acrylate) (PEEA) could self-assemble into vesicle aggregates or complex micelle aggregates, which were dissociated upon sonication. Overall, the above findings provide us with a fresh insight for designing ultrasound-responsive polymeric nanoparticles.
Anionic Polymerization of Butadiene Using Lithium/Potassium Multi-metallic Systems: Influence on Polymerization Control and Polybutadiene Microstructure
Antoine Forens, Kevin Roos, Charlotte Dire, Benoit Gadenne, Stéphane Carlotti
2020, 38(4): 357-362  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2355-4
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Thermal, mechanical, and viscoelastic properties of polybutadiene-based rubber materials are highly dependent on polybutadiene microstructure. The use of polar modifier in association with alkyllithium is a well-known method to obtain polybutadiene with a high vinyl content. Another approach is to use bimetallic initiating species such as alkyllithium combined to heavier alkali metal alkoxide (RONa, ROK…). The polymerization control is nevertheless not achieved and several parameters were found to influence it. Using bimetallic initiating systems based on alkyllithium and a potassium alkoxide, alkyllithium structure, initiator preformation time, and initiator composition were identified as parameters influencing the anionic polymerization process of butadiene and/or polybutadiene microstructure. In addition, the use of trimetallic systems based on alkyllithium, potassium alkoxide, and alkylaluminum was investigated in order to prevent side reactions regardless of the [K]/[Li] ratio and of the initiator preformation time.
Role of Hydrodynamic Interactions in the Deformation of Star Polymers in Poiseuille Flow
Zhen-Yue Yang, Xiao-Fei Tian, Li-Jun Liu, Ji-Zhong Chen
2020, 38(4): 363-370  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2346-5
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Stretching polymer in fluid flow is a vital process for studying and utilizing the physical properties of these molecules, such as DNA linearization in nanofluidic channels. We studied the role of hydrodynamic interactions (HIs) in stretching a free star polymer in Poiseuille flow through a tube using mesoscale hydrodynamic simulations. As increasing the flow strength, star polymers migrate toward the centerline of tube due to HIs, whereas toward the tube wall in the absence of HIs. By analyzing the end monomer distribution and the perturbed flow around the star polymer, we found that the polymer acts like a shield against the flow, leading to additional hydrodynamic drag forces that compress the arm chains in the front of the star center toward the tube axis and lift the arm chains at the back toward the tube wall. The balanced hydrodynamic forces freeze the polymer into a trumpet structure, where the arm chains maintain a steady strongly stretched state at high flow strength. In contrast, the polymer displays remarkably large conformational change when switching off HIs. Our simulation results explained the coupling between HIs and the structure of star polymers in Poiseuille flow.
Conformational Properties of Comb-shaped Polyelectrolytes with Negatively Charged Backbone and Neutral Side Chains Studied by a Generic Coarse-grained Bead-and-Spring Model
Jian-Hua Chen, Li-Qun Lu, Hong-Xia Zhao, Yong Yang, Xin Shu, Qian-Ping Ran
2020, 38(4): 371-381  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2350-9
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A generic coarse-grained bead-and-spring model, mapped onto comb-shaped polycarboxylate-based (PCE) superplasticizers, is developed and studied by Langevin molecular dynamics simulations with implicit solvent and explicit counterions. The agreement on the radius of gyration of the PCEs with experiments shows that our model can be useful in studying the equilibrium sizes of PCEs in solution. The effects of ionic strength, side-chain number, and side-chain length on the conformational behavior of PCEs in solution are explored. Single-chain equilibrium properties, including the radius of gyration, end-to-end distance and persistence length of the polymer backbone, shape-asphericity parameter, and the mean span dimension, are determined. It is found that with the increase of ionic strength, the equilibrium sizes of the polymers decrease only slightly, and a linear dependence of the persistence length of backbone on the Debye screening length is found, in good agreement with the theory developed by Dobrynin. Increasing side-chain numbers and/or side-chain lengths increases not only the equilibrium sizes (radius of gyration and mean span) of the polymer as a whole, but also the persistence length of the backbone due to excluded volume interactions.
General Model of Temperature-dependent Modulus and Yield Strength of Thermoplastic Polymers
Ping-Yuan Huang, Zhan-Sheng Guo, Jie-Min Feng
2020, 38(4): 382-393  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2360-7
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A general model was developed to predict the temperature-dependent modulus and yield strength of different thermoplastic polymers. This model, which depends on only two parameters with clear and specific physical meanings, can describe the temperature-dependent modulus and yield strength of thermoplastic polymers over the full glass transition region. The temperature-dependent modulus and yield strength of three thermoplastic polymers were measured by uniaxial tension tests over a temperature range of 243−383 K. The predictions showed excellent agreement with the experimental data. Sensitivity analysis of model input parameters showed negligible effect on the present general model. The universality of the present general model was further validated, showing excellent agreement with published experimental data on other thermoplastic polymers and their composites.
Surface Patterns of a Tetrahedral Polyelectrolyte Brush Induced by Grafting Density and Charge Fraction
Hong-Ge Tan, Gang Xia, Li-Xiang Liu, Xiao-Hui Niu, Qing-Hai Hao
2020, 38(4): 394-402  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2351-8
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A tetrahedral polyelectrolyte brush in the presence of trivalent counterions is researched under the condition of good solution by means of molecular dynamics simulations. Grafting density and charge fraction are varied to generate a series of surface patterns. Lateral microphase separation happens and various interesting pinned patches appear at appropriate charge fraction and grafting density. Through a careful analysis on the brush thickness, the pair correlation functions, the distributions of net charge, and the four states of trivalent counterions in the brush, we find that the ordered surface patterns and special properties are induced by the pure electrostatic correlation effect of trivalent ions even in the good solvent. Furthermore, the dependences of electrostatic correlation on the charge fraction of tethered chains are evaluated for fixed grafting density. Also, our results can serve as a guide for precise control over the stimuli-responsive materials rational and self-assembly of nanoparticles.

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2020-02contents
2020, 38(2): -
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ARTICLE
Copolymerization of Azobenzene-bearing Monomer and 3,4-Ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT): Improved Electrochemical Performance for Electrochromic Device Applications
Serife O. Hacioglu
2020, 38(2): 109-117  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2306-0
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In this study, novel electrochromic copolymers of 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) and (E)-1,2-bis(2-fluoro-4-(4-hexylthiophen-2-yl)phenyl)diazene (M1) with different monomer feed ratios were designed and synthesized electrochemically. Electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical characterizations were performed using voltammetry and UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometry techniques to test the applicability of copolymers for electrochromic applications. In terms of electrochemical behaviors, addition of an electron-rich EDOT unit into the azobenzene-containing copolymer increased the electron density on the polymer chain and afforded copolymers with very low oxidation potentials at around 0.30 V. While the homopolymers (P1 and PEDOT) exhibited neutral state absorptions centered at 510 and 583 nm, EDOT-bearing copolymers showed red shifted absorptions compared to those of P1 with narrower optical band gaps. In addition, the poor optical contrast and switching times of azobenzene-bearing homopolymer were significantly improved with EDOT addition into the copolymer chain. As a result of the promising electrochromic and kinetic preperties, CoP1.5-bearing single layer electrochromic device that works between purple and light greenish blue colors was constructed and characterized.
Dendronized Polymers with High FTC-chromophore Loading Density: Large Second-order Nonlinear Optical Effects, Good Temporal and Thermal Stability
Meng Jin, Zhao-Chen Zhu, Qiu-Yan Liao, Qian-Qian Li, Zhen Li
2020, 38(2): 118-125  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2307-z
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In this study, two new dendronized nonlinear optical (NLO) polymers were synthesized with high FTC chromophore loading density by introduction of high generation chromophore dendrons on the side chains. Due to their suitable molecular weights, both of them possessed good solubility in common solvents. They also inherited the advantages of dendrimers (large NLO coefficient), especially for PG2 whose NLO coefficient d33 value was as high as 282 pm·V–1. Also, PG2 had a good temporal stability with 80% of its maximum value being retained at the temperature as high as 129 °C.
Mediating the Migration of Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Dynamically Changing the Density of Cell-selective Peptides Immobilized on β-Cyclodextrin-modified Cell-resisting Polymer Brushes
Wang Du, De-Teng Zhang, Xue-Mei Wang, Tan-Chen Ren, Chang-You Gao
2020, 38(2): 126-136  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2324-y
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Dynamic control of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) behaviors on biomaterial surface is critically involved in regulating the cell fate and tissue regeneration. Herein, a stimuli-responsive surface based on host-guest interaction with cell selectivity was developed to regulate migration of MSCs in situ by dynamic display of cell-specific peptides. Azobenzene-grafted MSC-affinitive peptides (EPLQLKM, Azo-E7) were grafted to β-cyclodextran (β-CD)-modified poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-b-poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-glycidyl methacrylate) (PHG) brushes, which were prepared by using surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), and water contact angle were used to characterize their structure and property. Cell adhesion assay showed that the combination effect of resisting property of PHG and MSC-affinity of E7 could promote the selective adhesion of MSCs over other types of cells such as RAW264.7 macrophages and NIH3T3 fibroblasts to some extent. UV-Vis spectroscopy proved that the competing guest molecules, amantadine hydrochloride (Ama), could release Azo-E7 peptides from the CD surface to different extents, and the effect was enhanced when UV irradiation was employed simultaneously. As a result, the decrease of cell adhesion density and migration rate could be achieved in situ. The cell density and migration rate could be reduced by over 40% by adding 20 μmol/L Ama, suggesting that this type of surface is a new platform for dynamic regulation of stem cell behaviors in situ.
Photo-grafting Poly(acrylic acid) onto Poly(lactic acid) Chains in Solution
Jia-Xing Wang, Yan-Bin Huang, Wan-Tai Yang
2020, 38(2): 137-142  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2308-y
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Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is one of the most important bio-plastics, and chemical modification of the already-polymerized poly(lactic acid) chains may enable optimization of its material properties and expand its application areas. In this study, we demonstrated that poly(lactic acid) can be readily dissolved in acrylic acid at room temperature, and acrylic acid can be graft-polymerized onto poly(lactic acid) chains in solution with the help of photoinitiator benzophenone under 254 nm ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Similar photo-grafting polymerization of acrylic acid (PAA) has only been studied before in the surface modification of polymer films. The graft ratio could be controlled by various reaction parameters, including irradiation time, benzophenone content, and monomer/polymer ratios. This photo-grafting reaction resulted in high graft ratio (graft ratio PAA/PLA up to 180%) without formation of homopolymers of acrylic acid. When the PAA/PLA graft ratio was higher than 100%, the resulting PLA-g-PAA polymer was found dispersible in water. The pros and cons of the photo-grafting reaction were also discussed.
Cross-linked Polyamides Prepared through Direct Bulk Michael Addition and Polycondensation from 1,6-Hexanediamine and Methyl Acrylate
Sheng-Qing Yang, Jin-Nan Zhao, Jing-Bo Zhao, Zhi-Yuan Zhang, Jun-Ying Zhang
2020, 38(2): 143-150  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2332-y
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Cross-linked polyamides (cPAs) were prepared through direct bulk Michael addition and subsequent polycondensation. Several mixed hexanediamine multi-esters (HDAMEs) were generated through the Michael addition of 1,6-hexanediamine (HDA) and methyl acrylate (MA) at 50 °C with different HDA/MA molar ratios. Melt polycondensation of HDAMEs then proceeded at 150 or 170 °C in flasks to obtain viscous fluids, and curing was continued in tetrafluoroethylene molds to obtain cPA films. The Michael addition was monitored on the basis of FTIR and ESI-MS spectra. The cPA films were characterized by DSC, TGA, dynamic mechanical analysis, and tensile test. These directly prepared cPAs exhibited Tg of 1–39 °C, tensile strength of up to 45 MPa, and strain at break from 18% to 40%. The cPAs with high tensile strength and good toughness were successfully synthesized through the direct bulk Michael addition from HDA and MA followed with polycondensation.
Truxene-based Conjugated Microporous Polymers via Different Synthetic Methods
Meng-Yang Wang, Qiu-Jing Zhang, Qiao-Qiao Shen, Qing-Yin Li, Shi-Jie Ren
2020, 38(2): 151-157  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2321-1
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Four truxene-based conjugated microporous polymers (Tr-CMPs) were prepared via different synthetic methods and their structure-property relationships were studied. The polymer networks have high Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface areas ranging from 554 m2·g–1 to 1024 m2·g–1. Pore sizes of the CMPs with different linkers are mainly located between 0.60 and 1.96 nm. Among all the Tr-CMPs, Tr-CMP4 has the highest BET surface area of 1024 m2·g–1 and exhibits the highest H2 uptake of 0.88 wt%. Tr-CMP2 prepared by Suzuki-Miyaura coupling reaction has the highest photoluminescence quantum yields (PLQYs) of 13.06% and CO2 uptake of 6.25 wt%.
Crystallization Behavior and Dynamic Mechanical Properties of Poly(ε-caprolactone)/Octaisobutyl-Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes Composites Prepared via Different Methods
Si-Qi Teng, Zhi-Guo Jiang, Zhao-Bin Qiu
2020, 38(2): 158-163  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2338-5
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Two octaisobutyl-polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (oib-POSS) reinforced biodegradable poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) composites were prepared via two different methods, i.e., melt compounding and solution casting, which were named as mPCL/oib-POSS and sPCL/oib-POSS, respectively, in this work. Oib-POSS dispersed finely in both composites; moreover, oib-POSS aggregates were larger in mPCL/oib-POSS than in sPCL/oib-POSS. Despite the different preparation methods, oib-POSS obviously promoted the crystallization of PCL, especially in sPCL/oib-POSS, but did not modify the crystal structure of PCL. The storage moduli of PCL were improved significantly in both composites. PCL/oib-POSS composites with enhanced crystallization behavior and improved dynamic mechanical properties were successfully prepared through both methods; moreover, the solution casting method was more effective than the melt compounding method.
Differential Polymorphic Transformation Behavior of Polybutene-1 with Multiple Isotactic Sequences
Ya-Ping Ma, Wei-Ping Zheng, Chen-Guang Liu, Hua-Feng Shao, Hua-Rong Nie, Ai-Hua He
2020, 38(2): 164-173  doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2337-6
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For the solid-solid transformation from form II to form I of isotactic polybutene-1 (iPB), the temperature dependence of form I nucleation and growth was deemed to control the transformation process. However, the relationship between form I formation and form II disappearance in the transformation process is not clear. In this work, the spontaneous crystal transformation from form II to I of iPB with 81 mol% mmmm sequence concentration is studied firstly by tracking the two processes, the decay of form II and the yielding of form I in a wide range of temperature spanning from 0 °C to 50 °C and in a long transformation time ranging from 5 min to 65 days with in situ FTIR and WAXD. Unlike the literature reports, the decay rate of form II is firstly found to be lower than the yielding rate of form I at all studied temperatures, especially at low transition temperature. This is attributed to the amorphous chains which locate near crystal lamella participating into the nucleation of form II. The regular chain folding and growth of iPB form I from amorphous chains containing short isotactic sequences also lead to an increase in crystallinity of form I compared with that of initial form II crystallized at 60 °C. An increase in the annealing temperature results in decrease in crystallinity and increase in lamellae thickness of iPB form I.
Competition between Liquid-liquid De-mixing, Crystallization, and Glass Transition in Solutions of PLA of Different Stereochemistry and DEET
Chanita Sungkapreecha, Walter W. Focke, René Androsch
2020, 38(2): 174-178  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2314-0
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Liquid-liquid (L-L) de-mixing and vitrification of solutions of either crystallizable poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) or non-crystallizable poly(D/L-lactic acid) (PDLLA) with 50 m% N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) were analyzed by calorimetry and cloud-point measurements, which allows drawing conclusions about the effect of polymer stereochemistry on the phase behavior. Regardless of the PLA stereochemistry, vitrification of the solutions on fast cooling, hindering crystallization of PLLA, occurred below −20 °C and suppressed prior L-L de-mixing. The experimental results prove that crystallization in samples containing crystallizable PLLA, observed at around 55 °C on slow cooling, is not preceded by L-L de-mixing.
Numerical Simulation of the Distribution Function and Free Energy of a Single Wormlike Polymer Confined between Hard Walls
Yang Gu, Hui Zhang, Dong-Liang Zhang
2020, 38(2): 179-186  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2322-0
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We focus on the distribution and free energy of a wormlike polymer confined between two parallel hard walls. The variation in the distribution and free energy of the wormlike chain as the spacing between the walls decreases (or as the total contour length of the wormlike chain increases or as the persistence length of the chain increases) is simulated. The main reason for these changes is a degradation of the long wormlike chain into a Gaussian long chain under weak confinement.
Selective Carbon Dioxide Capture in Antifouling Indole-based Microporous Organic Polymers
Meng-Qi Du, Yu-Zheng Peng, Yuan-Chi Ma, Li Yang, Yuan-Lin Zhou, Fan-Kun Zeng, Xiang-Ke Wang, Man-Ling Song, Guan-Jun Chang
2020, 38(2): 187-194  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2326-9
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Intermolecular synergistic adsorption of indole and carbonyl groups induced by intermolecular hydrogen bonding makes microporous organic polymer (PTICBL) exhibit high CO2 uptake capacity (5.3 mmol·g−1 at 273 K) and selectivities (CO2/CH4 = 53, CO2/N2 = 107 at 273 K). In addition, we find that indole units in the PTICBL networks inhibit the attachment of bacteria (E. coil and S. aureus) on the surface of PTICBL and extend its service life in CO2 capture.
Poly(methyl methacrylate)-induced Microstructure and Hydrolysis Behavior Changes of Poly(L-lactic acid)/Carbon Nanotubes Composites
Xu Yu, Xin-Zheng Jin, Ting Huang, Nan Zhang, Xiao-Yu Li, Yong Wang
2020, 38(2): 195-204  doi: 10.1007/s10118-019-2323-z
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Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA)-based composites exhibit wide applications in many fields. However, most of hydrophilic fillers usually accelerate the hydrolytic degradation of PLLA, which is unfavorable for the prolonging of the service life of the articles. In this work, a small quantity of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) (2 wt%−10 wt%) was incorporated into the PLLA/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) composites. The effects of PMMA content on the dispersion of CNTs as well as the microstructure and hydrolytic degradation behaviors of the composites were systematically investigated. The results showed that PMMA promoted the dispersion of CNTs in the composites. Amorphous PLLA was obtained in all the composites. Largely enhanced hydrolytic degradation resistance was achieved by incorporating PMMA, especially at relatively high PMMA content. Incorporating 10 wt% PMMA led to a dramatic decrease in the hydrolytic degradation rate from 0.19 %/h of the PLLA/CNT composite sample to 0.059 %/h of the PLLA/PMMA-10/CNT composite sample. The microstructure evolution of the composites was also detected, and the results showed that no crystallization occurred in the PLLA matrix. Further results based on the interfacial tension calculation showed that the enhanced hydrolytic degradation resistance of the PLLA matrix was mainly attributed to the relatively strong interfacial affinity between PMMA and CNTs, which prevented the occurrence of hydrolytic degradation at the interface between PLLA and CNTs. This work provides an alternative method for tailoring the hydrolytic degradation ability of the PLLA-based composites.