Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Complexing Blends of an Ionomer and a Rigid Rod Polymer

L. Shao
Robert Weiss, The University of Akron
R. D. Lundberg


A unique, molecular architecture was developed based on a hydrocarbon soluble backbone with a liquid crystalline side group. Lightly sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) ionomer was complexed with poly(y-benzyl-L-glutamate) (PBLG), an amine terminated synthetic polypeptide, by solution blending in either THF or chloroform. Complexation first occurred by proton transfer from the pendent acid to the amine terminal group. A secondary interaction involved hydrogen-bonding between the sulfonic acid and the carbonyl group on the PBLG chain. This material will have the potential as a molecular composite and unusual solution behavior was observed when the interaction occurred.