Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Microphase separation in sulfonated polystyrene ionomers

Robert Weiss, The University of Akron


Small- and wide-angle x-ray scattering results for a series of un-neutralized and neutralized sulfonated polystyrenes are presented for the range of sulfonation from 0 to 7.26 mol %. From the small-angle scattering it is shown that above the 3 mol % level for both the zinc and sodium salts, a Bragg spacing (37 Å) and diameter (6.9–8.4 Å) of the scattering unit can be calculated. When the concentration of salt is increased, there is no appreciable change in the latter two measurements. The wide-angle data indicate that the cations do not influence to any large extent the basic intramolecular and intermolecular structure of polystyrene. All the data are consistent with the onset of clustering above a critical ion concentration.