Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Far-IR studies of microphase separation in sulfonated ionomers

Robert Weiss, The University of Akron


Far-infrared spectra of a series of un-neutralized and neutralized lightly sulfonated polystyrenes with varying sulfonation levels have been investigated to seek spectroscopic evidence for microphase separation known to control the physical properties of these polymers. Broad, strong absorbance bands, not found in the spectrum of unmodified polystyrene, are observed in the spectra of the sulfonated analogs. The effects on the far-infrared spectra both of sulfonation level and of the mass and charge of the neutralizing cation are discussed in terms of cation motion and the formation of ion-rich domains.