Molecular Mass and Dynamics of Poly(Methyl Acrylate) in the Glass Transition Region

Burak Metin
Frank D. Blum, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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The segmental dynamics of bulk poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA) were studied as a function of molecular mass in the glass-transition region using 2H NMR and modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC). Quadrupole-echo 2H NMR spectra were obtained for four samples of methyl-deuterated PMA-d3 with different molecular masses. The resulting spectra were fit using superpositions of simulated spectra generated from the MXQET simulation program, based on a model incorporating nearest-neighbor jumps from positions on the vertices of a truncated icosahedron (soccer-ball shape). The lower molecular-mass samples, influenced by the presence of more chain ends, showed more heterogeneity (broader distribution) and lower glass transitions than the higher molecular-mass samples. The MDSC experiments on both protonated and deuterated samples showed behavior consistent with the NMR results, but temperature shifted due to the different frequency range of the measurements in terms of both the position and breadth of the glass transition as a function of molecular mass.