Polydimethylsiloxane Containing Block Copolymers: Synthesis and Characterization of Alternating Poly(Arylene Ether Phosphine Oxide)-B-Siloxane and Segmented Nylon 6,6 -B-Siloxane Copolymers
Two novel classes of siloxane containing, organic-inorganic block copolymers were prepared using different synthetic approaches. The first copolymers were alternating poly(arylene ether phosphine oxide)-poly(dimethylsiloxane) systems, prepared via oligomeric silylamine-hydroxyl reactions. Secondly, segmented nylon 6,6-poly(dimethylsiloxane) block copolymers were synthesized via a non-aqueous adaptation of the "nylon 6,6 salt" hydrolytic polyamidization, using bis(aminopropyl) dimethylsiloxane oligomer as a co-reactant.
Three series of "perfectly" alternating block copolymers were produced from well characterized hydroxyl-terminated poly(arylene ether phosphine oxide) and dimethylamine-terminated poly(dimethylsiloxane) oligomers, in order to investigate both block length and chemical composition effects. Copolymerization in chlorobenzene resulted in high molecular weight materials capable of forming optically clear, nanophase separated films, which displayed unusual morphologies and good mechanical strength. Thermal gravimetric analysis showed high thermo-oxidative stability and increasing char yield with increasing siloxane content. Additional thermal and mechanical investigations provided evidence of selective phase mixing, particularly at shorter block lengths. Surface analysis showed an enrichment of the siloxane blocks at the air-polymer interface in comparison to the bulk state. This behavior increased in proportion to the length of the parent siloxane oligomers. Evaluation of selected optical properties, e.g., refractive indices, revealed linear trends resulting in values of compositionally weighted averages.
Conversely, a series of nylon 6,6-siloxane copolymers were produced from the polycondensation of preformed propylamine-terminated poly(dimethylsiloxane)s, solid nylon 6,6 salt and a corresponding amount of adipic acid to afford siloxane-amide semi-crystalline copolymers with siloxane content ranging from 10 to ~45 wt%. The characterization of high molecular weight and covalent siloxane-amide linkages was hindered by insolubility. For example, crystallinity of the nylon 6,6 precluded the use of common solution techniques, while the susceptibility of the siloxane blocks towards ionic redistribution prevented the use of strongly acidic solvents. However, development of a novel analytical technique using solid state 13C NMR and liquid-solid extraction provided evidence for the presence of covalent bonding between the dissimilar oligomer chains. Thermal gravimetric analysis of resultant copolymers revealed an increase in char yield with increasing siloxane content, a preliminary indicator of increased fire resistance, which was supported by subsequent qualitative Bunsen burner observations. Differential scanning calorimetry showed retention of the polyamide crystalline melt with levels of siloxane incorporation of up to 45 weight %.
In conclusion, two novel classes of polydimethylsiloxane containing block copolymers have been successfully synthesized, despite the complications created as a result of the polar/non-polar interactions developed between a semi-inorganic polydimethylsiloxane and the hydrocarbon based polyarylene ethers and nylon 6,6.