Final rept. Jul 80-Jun 83,
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE CENTER FOR MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Pagination or Media Count:
This report pertains to systematic investigations of the kinetic evolution of cluster size distributions of polymerizing macromolecules as the reaction proceeds toward the sol-gel transition. Using a resistive pulse analyzer, the mathematical form and time evolution of the number of monomers, dimmers, trimmers, quadrimers, etc., in a model system of polyfunctional antigens crosslinked by antibody, has been experimentally determined. These results have been interpreted using the Smoluchowski equation originally developed for colloidal aggregates. According to the analysis the observed temporal evolution of the cluster size distribution is a direct reflection of the structure of the bimolecular reaction rate coefficients which enter as matrix elements of the Smoluchowski equation. It has been shown that the expected form of these matrix elements is consistent with binding between molecules on the surface of the clusters. This data provides perhaps the most complete experimental characterization of the kinetics of aggregating systems a subject which is now experiencing intense theoretical study.
- Polymer Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy