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Molecular dynamics of chiral semi-crystalline poly(R)-(3-hydroxyalkanoates)

Authors Cheung, Man Ken
Gao, Ping View this author's profile
Li, Si Wan
Issue Date 2003
Source Polymer , v. 44, (11), 2003, MAY, p. 3299-3307
Summary The inversion-recovery cross-polarization (IRCP) sequence used for measuring cross-relaxation time (T-CH) is modified to obtain signals that show exponential or spin-lock (SL) decay to zero. The new sequence may, therefore, be analogously abbreviated as SLCP. Poly(R)-(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) {P(HB-HHx) (85:15)} is found to be more mobile than poly(R)-(3-hydroxybutyrate) {PHB} in the crystalline regions. The molecular-level evidence by solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) that the P(HB-HHx) chain is more flexible than PHB is echoed by the dynamic frequency sweep measurements of the biopolymer melts, which show that the PHB melt has an unusual rheological response with the dynamic loss moduli dominating the storage moduli at all frequencies. This is most likely to be caused by the local anisotropic melt structures due to the long persistence length of PHB in the melt. Upon cooling the PHB melt to the solid state, such high levels of anisotropy may be frozen into the solid causing lower chain mobility, and hence giving rise to lower toughness. The incorporation of longer side chain unit to the main chain gives rise to a dynamic rheological response in P(HB-HHx) similar to that of an isotropic melt. This is believed to be due to the enhanced chain flexibility, and hence reduced persistence length. This further allows P(HB-HHx) to be processed into a more uniform isotropic morphology, and hence with improved mechanical toughness. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0032-3861
Language English
Format Article
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