Polymer, Vol.49, No.6, 1567-1578, 2008
Comparison of thermomechanical properties of statistical, gradient and block copolymers of isobornyl acrylate and n-butyl acrylate with various acrylate homopolymers
Well-defined statistical, gradient and block copolymers consisting of isobornyl acrylate (IBA) and n-butyl acrylate (nBA) were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). To investigate structure-property correlation, copolymers were prepared with systematically varied molecular weights and compositions. Thermomechanical properties of synthesized materials were analyzed via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analyses (DMA) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Glass transition temperature (T.) of the resulting statistical poly(isobornyl acrylate-co-n-butyl acrylate) (P(IBA-co-nBA)) copolymers was tuned by changing the monomer feed. This way, it was possible to generate materials which can mimic thermal behavior of several homopolymers, such as poly(t-butyl acrylate) (PtBA), poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA), poly(ethyl acrylate) (PEA) and poly(n-propyl acrylate) (PPA). Although statistical copolymers had the same thermal properties as their homopolymer equivalents, DMA measurements revealed that they are much softer materials. While statistical copolymers showed a single T-g, block copolymers showed two T(g)s and DSC thermogram for the gradient copolymer indicated a single, but very broad, glass transition. The mechanical properties of block and gradient copolymers were compared to the statistical copolymers with the same IBA/nBA composition. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.