Preparation and characterization of polyelectrolyte copolymers containing methyl methacrylate and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate. I. Polymers based on methacrylic acid

Authors

  • Shao Wen,

    1. Department of Chemistry & Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67208
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  • Xiaonan Yin,

    1. Department of Chemistry & Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67208
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  • William T. K. Stevenson

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry & Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67208
    • Department of Chemistry & Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67208
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Abstract

Acidic polyelectrolyte copolymers containing 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), methyl methacrylate (MMA), and methacrylic acid (MAA) were prepared by free radical polymerization to high conversion in solution. Copolymer yields were obtained by gravimetry (all in the 30–50% range), relative molecular weights estimated by intrinsic viscosity measurements (all in the 50–70 cc/g range), tacticity by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy (all polymers predominantly syndiotactic with some atactic content), and composition by acid/base titrations in conjunction with 1H-NMR spectroscopy (all close to the monomer charge ratios). Acid strengths or apparent pKa's were examined as a function of extent of ionization. Measurements performed in water indicated that the compact/extended coil transformation in predominantly syndiotactic polymethacrylic acid occurs also in copolymers of similar tacticity containing moderate to high concentrations of MAA. The apparent pKa of such polymers containing only small amounts of MAA did not vary with extent of ionization, indicating a low degree of interaction between the acid groups. In copolymer pairs containing similar amounts of MAA but differing HEMA and MMA contents, the polymer containing more HEMA appeared the stronger acid, presumably due to a better solvation of that polymer which would increase the net spatial charge–charge separation and decrease cooperative effects that lead to suppressed ionization.

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