Interfacial synthesis and characterization of random and segmented block bisphenol A–tetrabromobisphenol A copolycarbonates



The chain sequence architecture of bisphenol A–tetrabromobisphenol A copolycarbonates depends on the process employed to prepare them. An interfacial process involving a single-step phosgenation produces a segmented block copolymer, contrary to previous assumptions. An interfacial two-step phosgenation process allows the preparation of random copolycarbonates. In each process the control of the pH of the acqueous phase of the two phase reaction mixture is required to achieve complete comonomer conversion to copolymer and to obtain the desired sequence architecture. The chain sequence architecture of these copolycarbonates can be estimated by examination of their Fourier transform infrared spectra. The relative bandwidth of the carbonate stretching band is roughly proportional to the copolycarbonate number average sequence length, allowing the facile distinction between block and random copolymers. The number average sequence lengths of these copolycarbonates were quantified by carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy. These analyses showed that the one-step phosgenation process yields segmented block copolycarbonates having number average sequence lengths from about 4 to 9, and the two-step phosgenation process produces random copolycarbonates having sequence lengths from 1.6 to 2. The distribution of the aromatic carbon triads of these random copolymers shows them to have an alternate-segmented block architecture, which is consistent with the synthesis conditions, rather than a statistically random distribution of comonomer segments. Dynamic mechanical analysis of two of these copolycarbonates shows a dependence of their low temperature secondary transitions on the copolymer sequence structure. A segmented block copolycarbonate, having a number average sequence length of about 4, displays two distinct peaks in its tan δ curve at temperatures corresponding to those transitions observed in the respective homopolymers. The tan δ curve of a random copolycarbonate shows a single low temperature secondary transition midway between those of the homopolymer. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.