3 years ago

Microstructure of Crystallizable α-Olefin Molecular Bottlebrushes: Isotactic and Atactic Poly(1-octadecene)

Microstructure of Crystallizable α-Olefin
Molecular Bottlebrushes: Isotactic and Atactic Poly(1-octadecene)
Jonathan J. Schaefer, Alexander I. Norman, Andy H. Tsou, Joseph A. Throckmorton, John R. Hagadorn, Carlos R. López-Barrón, Jarod M. Younker
Isotactic and atactic poly(1-octadecene) (iPOD and aPOD) have been synthesized by organometallic coordinative insertion polymerization of 1-octadecene. Analyzing X-ray and neutron scattering data of POD melts identifies their bottlebrush structures as flexible rods where the rod length is the extended backbone length and rod radius is the side chain coil dimension. Upon cooling, both iPOD and aPOD melts crystallize by fully extending their coiled side chains to form orthorhombic alkane crystals in iPOD and nematically ordered rotator alkane crystals in aPOD, as determined by X-ray scattering and Raman spectroscopy. Molecular dynamics simulations of isotactic and atactic 48-mers of 1-octadecene were applied to define and verify melt and crystalline structures and scattering peak assignments, respectively. Modeling suggests that side chains of both crystallized isotactic and atactic PODs align at 70° and 160° to the 4/1 spiral backbone of equal probability, at an average of 115°, and POD chains pack in an antiparallel pattern. Large wheat-sheaf structural assembly of fibril bundles can be observed in aPOD, which render high opacity to these samples. Each of those fibrils is made of several bottlebrush molecules packed into a hexagonal lattice. Faster crystallization observed in iPODs hinders the formation of large crystallites, which results in translucent samples.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b02524

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b02524

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