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Published May 15, 2018 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Consequences of Grafting Density on the Linear Viscoelastic Behavior of Graft Polymers


The linear viscoelastic behavior of poly(norbornene)-graft-poly(±-lactide) was investigated as a function of grafting density and overall molar mass. Eight sets of polymers with grafting densities ranging from 0 to 100% were synthesized by living ring-opening metathesis copolymerization. Within each set, the graft chain molar mass and spacing between grafts were fixed, while the total backbone length was varied. Dynamic master curves reveal that these polymers display Rouse and reptation dynamics with a sharp transition in the zero-shear viscosity data, demonstrating that grafting density strongly impacts the entanglement molar mass. The entanglement modulus (G_e) scales with inverse grafting density (n_g) as G_e ∼ n_g^(1.2) and G_e ∼ n_g^0 in accordance with scaling theory in the high and low grafting density limits, respectively. However, a sharp transition between these limiting behaviors occurs, which does not conform to existing theoretical models for graft polymers. A molecular interpretation based on thin flexible chains at low grafting density and thick semiflexible chains at high grafting density anticipates the sharp transition between the limiting dynamical regimes.

Additional Information

© 2018 American Chemical Society. Received: February 9, 2018. Accepted: March 26, 2018. Publication Date (Web): April 12, 2018. This work was funded by the NSF through the Center for Sustainable Polymers (CHE-1413862) and under award number CHE-1502616. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Part of this work was performed at the DuPont–Northwestern–Dow Collaborative Access Team (DND-CAT) located at Sector 5 of the APS. DND-CAT is supported by E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., The Dow Chemical Company, and Northwestern University. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

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