Synthesis, Molecular Weight Characterization and Structure-Property Relationships of Ammonium Ionenes

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Virginia Tech


Ammonium ionenes are macromolecules with quaternized nitrogen groups in the main chain. Ionenes are commonly referred to as x,y-ionene, where x and y represent the number of methylene groups between quaternized nitrogens. Synthesis of aliphatic ammonium ionenes has been studied since the early twentieth century; however, absolute molecular weight characterization has only been performed using extensive light scattering and viscosity experiments. Performing aqueous size exclusion chromatography (SEC) on ammonium ionenes provides absolute molecular weight determinations while eliminating the need for separate viscosity and light scattering experiments. We developed a mobile phase composition that provides reliable separation of aliphatic ammonium ionenes using aqueous SEC. For the first time, we report absolute molecular weights of aliphatic ammonium ionenes using this technique.

We investigated the influence of charge density and structural symmetry on thermal and mechanical properties of ammonium 6,6-, 12,6- and 12,12-ionenes. Thermal properties were measured using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and mechanical properties were measured using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and an Instron.

Incorporating low molecular weight polymer segments into the main chain of the ionene allows tailoring of polymer characteristics. Poly (tetramethylene oxide) segments decrease hydrophilicity and increase elastomeric character. Linear PTMO based ionenes have been synthesized previously, and we were interested in how branching affected thermal and mechanical properties. We synthesized bis(dimethylamino) poly(tetramethylene oxide) segments, and subsequently, synthesized linear and branched ionenes to study the effects of topology on thermal and mechanical properties. Polymers were analyzed using DMA, DSC, TGA, SAXS, and an Instron.



Thermal and Mechanical Properties, Aqueous Size Exclusion Chromatography, Ammonium Ionene, Topology