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Structure-Property Relationships in Polymers and Specialty Applications

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecular Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 4156

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
Interests: structure-property relationship; polymer crystallization; polymer physics; Monte Carlo simulations; thermal analysis; materials genome

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural and synthetic polymers are macromolecules that are broadly applied in our daily life, such as celluloses, starches, silks, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, poly(ethylene terephthalate), and nylons. Their properties for versatile applications are mainly determined by their molecular and aggregation structures. The Special Issue of this journal aims to expose the importance of structure-property relationships in polymers and specialty applications. The authors and their contribution titles are selected to cover the broad range of this field. Theories, simulations, and experiments are welcome to reflect the cutting-edge knowledge on this interdisciplinary subject. The structure-property relationship will remain the central topic in polymer physics and promises a bright future for the materials genome of polymers.

Prof. Dr. Wenbing Hu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • structure-property relationship
  • polymer
  • macromolecule
  • biopolymers
  • specialty function
  • polymer crystallization
  • polymer physics
  • materials genome

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 5383 KiB  
Article
Eco-Conscious Approach to Thermoresponsive Star-Comb and Mikto-Arm Polymers via Enzymatically Assisted Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Followed by Ring-Opening Polymerization
by Tomasz Fronczyk, Anna Mielańczyk, Olesya Klymenko, Karol Erfurt and Dorota Neugebauer
Molecules 2024, 29(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29010055 (registering DOI) - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 863
Abstract
This study explores the synthesis, characterization, and application of a heterofunctional initiator derived from 2-hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), having eight bromoester groups and thirteen hydroxyl groups allowing the synthesis of mikto-arm star-shaped polymers. The bromoesterification of HP-β-CD was achieved using α-bromoisobutyryl bromide as the [...] Read more.
This study explores the synthesis, characterization, and application of a heterofunctional initiator derived from 2-hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), having eight bromoester groups and thirteen hydroxyl groups allowing the synthesis of mikto-arm star-shaped polymers. The bromoesterification of HP-β-CD was achieved using α-bromoisobutyryl bromide as the acylation reagent, modifying the cyclodextrin (CD) molecule as confirmed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy analysis, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermograms. The initiator’s effectiveness was further demonstrated by obtaining star-comb and mikto-arm polymers via an enzymatically assisted atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) method and subsequent ring-opening polymerization (ROP). The ATR polymerization quality and control depended on the type of monomer and was optimized by the way of introducing the initiator into the reaction mixture. In the case of ATRP, high conversion rates for poly(ethylene oxide) methyl ether methacrylate (OEOMA), with molecular weights (Mn) of 500 g/mol and 300 g/mol, were achieved. The molecular weight distribution of the obtained polymers remained in the range of 1.23–1.75. The obtained star-comb polymers were characterized by different arm lengths. Unreacted hydroxyl groups in the core of exemplary star-comb polymers were utilized in the ROP of ε-caprolactone (CL) to obtain a hydrophilic mikto-arm polymer. Cloud point temperature (TCP) values of the synthesized polymers increased with arm length, indicating the polymers’ reduced hydrophobicity and enhanced solvation by water. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis revealed the ability of the star-comb polymers to create fractals. The study elucidates advancements in the synthesis and utilization of hydrophilic sugar-based initiators for enzymatically assisted ATRP in an aqueous solution for obtaining complex star-comb polymers in a controlled manner. Full article
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13 pages, 10995 KiB  
Article
Crystallization Behavior of Isotactic Polybutene Blended with Polyethylene
by Jiajia Ping, Guiqiu Ma and Zhe Ma
Molecules 2022, 27(8), 2448; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27082448 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1793
Abstract
In this work, the melt crystallization behavior and the solid phase transition of isotactic polybutene (PB) were studied in the polybutene/high-density polyethylene (PB/PE) blends covering the whole composition range. For the dynamic cooling crystallization, PE exhibits almost the same crystallization temperature in all [...] Read more.
In this work, the melt crystallization behavior and the solid phase transition of isotactic polybutene (PB) were studied in the polybutene/high-density polyethylene (PB/PE) blends covering the whole composition range. For the dynamic cooling crystallization, PE exhibits almost the same crystallization temperature in all blends, whereas PB exhibits a distinct non-monotonic dependence on the composition ratio. Combining the ex situ X-ray diffraction and in situ Fourier transform infrared spectroscope, it was demonstrated that during cooling at 10 °C/min, the presence of at least 70 wt% PE can induce the formation of form I′ directly from the amorphous melt. The detailed relations of polymorphism with temperature were systematically investigated for the PB/PE blends. Different from the formation of the sole tetragonal phase with ≤50 wt% PE, the trigonal form I′ could crystallize directly from amorphous melt with ≥60 wt% PE, which can be further enhanced by elevating the temperature of isothermal crystallization. Interestingly, the critical lowest temperature of obtaining pure form I′ was 85 °C with 70 wt% PE and decreased to 80 °C as the PE fraction was increased to 80 wt%. On the other hand, the spontaneous phase transition from the kinetically favored form II into the thermodynamically stable form I was also explored with X-ray diffraction methods. It was found that at the room temperature, phase transition kinetics can be significantly accelerated by blending at least 70 wt% PE. Full article
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