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Diffusion-controlled vinyl polymerization. I. The gel effect



It is well known that the reaction rate and molecular weight of vinyl polymers can change markedly during the course of polymerization and that these changes are due to the influence of diffusion on the termination reaction. The chain length dependence of the termination rate constant has been considered in this work and has resulted in a general method of treating the polymerization kinetics and molecular weight distribution. This method is independent of the form of the chain length dependency and is capable of dealing with both disproportionation and recombination modes of termination. A specific model for the termination rate constant with chain length dependence is proposed and is based on free volume theory and entanglement coupling. Master curves for the characteristics of the reaction rate and molecular weight distribution are presented with the application of this model.

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