Condensation Polymers with Controlled Structure.
Rept. no. 1 (Annual),
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE DEPT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
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This report details the progress made and work currently being undertaken on the project Condensation Polymers with Controlled Structure. Growth has taken place in areas of polymer synthesis with controlled constitution, monomer preparation, polymer characterization and theoretical understanding of polymer properties. The projects objective is to develop new rigid-rod polyamides with a controlled and preselectable degree of constitutional regularity. The reason behind this approach is the fact that condensation polymers that contain units whose mutual orientation can be distinguished give rise to consitutional isomerism similar to the headtail isomerism in vinyl polymers. Regular polymers are characterized by structures containing either only head-to-tail or only head-to-headtail-to-tail structures. This isomerism has been found to influence the properties of many polycondensates significantly. At present, no molecular theory of the properties of condensation polymers exists and the mechanisms by which properties differ are largely unknown, but one might conjecture that crystallinity and intermolecular cohesion are both important factors. We have selected a polymer system that depends largely upon inter-chain interactions. The one which we have selected to begin our study on are substituted wholly aromatic polyamides or, as they are often referred to as, aramides.