Measuring the mutual diffusion coefficient for dodecyl acrylate in low molecular weight poly(dodecyl acrylate) with laser line deflection (Wiener's method) and the fluorescence of pyrene

D Antrim
P Bunton
LL Lewis
BD Zoltowski

Abstract

Diffusion of small molecules into glassy polymers is quite complicated and almost always non-Fickian. Little work has been done with the diffusion of low molecular weight polymers that are liquids at room temperature (such as poly(dodecyl acrylate)) into their miscible monomers. We have studied three molecular weights under 20 000 to determine if poly(dodecyl acrylate) diffusion into dodecyl acrylate could be treated with Fick's law and if so to determine the values of the diffusion coefficients. We compare two methods for measuring the diffusion of dodecyl acrylate into poly(dodecyl acrylate): We used laser line deflection (Wiener's method) and improved upon the method from published reports. We also used the dependence of pyrene's fluorescence on the viscosity to measure the concentration distribution, and thus to extract the diffusion coefficient. After an initial relaxation period, diffusion in all cases followed Fick's law with a single concentration-independent diffusion coefficient. Comparison of the diffusion coefficients obtained by both methods yielded the same order of magnitude for the diffusion coefficients (10(-7) cm(2)/s) and showed the same trend in the dependence on the average molecular weight of the polymer (a decrease in the diffusion coefficient with an increase in the molecular weight).