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Syndiospecific polymerization of styrene in the presence of cyclic olefins: A new approach for molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, and stereoregularity controls for syndiotactic polystyrene

Authors

  • Fu-Yuan Tzeng,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan, Republic of China
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  • Jing-Cherng Tsai

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan, Republic of China
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan, Republic of China
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Abstract

A new approach for facilitating microstructural controls for syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS), in which, styrene polymerization is conducted in the presence of cyclic olefins and hydrogen, is proposed. Detailed structural analyses revealed that cyclic olefins are not incorporated into the polystyrene main chain; instead, they are capable of interrupting the chain propagation processes by binding onto the active catalyst to form a cyclic-olefin-coordinated active site. Thus, in the presence of hydrogen, chain transfer by hydrogen addition occurs selectively, which leads to the generation of drastically lower molecular weight sPS with a narrower range of molecular weight distribution. Chain end structural analyses of the resulting polymers revealed that styrene polymerization under theses conditions involves a selective chain transfer pathway for providing styrene polymers with uniform chain end structures. A unique method for inducing a selective chain transfer reaction by using non-incorporated cyclic olefins to regulate the chain reaction mechanism is demonstrated. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2011

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