Diffusion of gases in polymer blends near the lower critical solution temperature



Gas diffusion through miscible blends of polystyrene (PS) with poly(vinyl methyl ether) (PVME) and poly(styrene-stat-acrylonitrile) (PSAN) with poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) is studied from temperatures below the corresponding lower critical solution temperature (LCST) to temperatures above. The Arrhenius equation describes the temperature dependence of diffusion coefficients of pure components. Diffusion coefficients of methane in the 20/80 PS/PVME blend also follow the Arrhenius equation in the temperature ranges above and below their corresponding LCST; however, discontinuity is observed in the LCST region. In contrast to the PS/PVME blend, discontinuity in the LCST region is not obvious for nitrogen and methane in the 50/50 PSAN/PMMA blend. These phenomena are discussed in terms of free volume and morphology changes in the LCST region.