Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Kinetics of Photopolymerization-Induced Phase Separation and Morphology Development in Mixtures of a Nematic Liquid Crystal and Multi-Functional Acrylate

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-21-2008

Abstract

Photopolymerization behavior and reaction kinetics for a series of multifunctional acrylate monomer(s) and eutectic liquid crystal blends were investigated with particular emphasis on determination of the reaction rate coefficients for propagation and termination steps of photopolymerization. Reaction rate coefficients were determined via real-time infrared spectroscopy and compared with those obtained by photo-differential scanning calorimetry. Effects of various parameters such as LC concentration, light intensity, and monomer functionality on the kinetics were investigated. Phase transition temperature versus composition phase diagrams were established by means of optical microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry for mixtures of triacrylate/liquid crystal (LC) before photopolymerization and after exposing to ultra violet (UV) irradiation under various reaction times. The snapshot phase diagram of the reacting mixtures exhibited isotropic gel, isotropic liquid + nematic, and narrow pure nematic coexistence regions. These coexistence regions were further confirmed by morphological changes of the polymer dispersed liquid crystal films as functions of temperature and concentration using polarized optical microscopy.

Publication Title

Polymer

Volume

49

Issue

2

First Page

534

Last Page

545