Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, Vol.45, No.4, 475-489, 2007
Reversible melting and crystallization of high-molar-mass poly(oxyethylene)
The heat capacity of poly(oxyethylene) (POE) with a molar mass of 900,000 Da has been analyzed with differential scanning calorimetry and quasi-isothermal, temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry. The crystal structure, lattice parameters, and coherently scattering domain sizes have been measured with wide-angle X-ray diffraction as a function of temperature. The high-molar-mass POE crystals are in a folded-chain macroconformation and show some locally reversible melting starting already at about 250 K. At 335 K, the thermodynamic heat capacity reaches the level of the melt. The reversible crystallinity depends on the modulation amplitude and has been varied in the melting range from +/- 0.2 to +/- 3.0 K. Before melting, there is neither a change in the crystal structure nor a change in the domain size, but the expansivity of the crystals increases at about 320 K. These observations support the interpretation that the monoclinic POE crystals possess a glass transition temperature with a midpoint at about 324 K, whereas the maximum melting temperature is 341 K. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.