Synthesis and Characterization of PS-PIB-PS Triblock Copolymers

Document Type


Publication Date



Polymers and High Performance Materials


Poly(styrene-isobutylene-styrene) (PS-PIB-PS) block copolymers synthesized via living carbocationic polymerization using a di- or tricumyl chloride/TiCl4/pyridine initiating system in 60/40 (v/v) hexane/methyl chloride cosolvents. The kinetics of formation of the PIB block at − 80°C were found to be first order in isobutylene (IB) concentration, first order in the concentration of initiating sites, second order in TaiCl4 concentration, and a negative fractional order with respect to the pyridine concentration. The rate of polymerization was found to decrease with increasing temperature, indicating an equilibrium between dormant, covalent and active, ionized chain ends, and chain-end concentration studies suggested that there was no contribution by free ions to the rate of propagation. Diagnosis of the livingness of the IB polymerization indicated that at high (≥90%) monomer conversion, β-proton elimination becomes important, causing the timing of addition of styrene to be critical. Addition of styrene at an IB reaction time significantly exceeding the time necessary for complete IB consumption resulted in contamination of the product with a substantial amount of homo-PS; conversely, addition at intermediate IB conversion resulted in slow copolymerization between IB and styrene and the formation of a tapered block copolymer. Addition of styrene at an IB conversion of about 90% resulted in well-defined block copolymers which displayed ordered, phase-separated morphologies consisting of cylinders of PS in a continuous phase of PIB. The block copolymers possessed properties consistent with those of physically crosslinked rubbers. Dynamic mechanical spectroscopy revealed two glass transitions with a broad rubbery plateau extending from about 0 to 100°C, and tensile strengths of up to 25 MPa and elongations to 1000% were observed for some samples.

Publication Title

Journal of Macromolecular Science: Pure and Applied Chemistry





First Page


Last Page


Find in your library