Mesogen-jacketed liquid crystalline polymers via stable free radical polymerization

Stefania Pragliola, Christopher K. Ober, Patrick T. Mather, Hong G. Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Stable free radical polymerization has been used in the controlled synthesis of poly(2,5-bis[(4-butylbenzoyl)oxy]styrene), PBBOS. This "mesogen-jacketed liquid crystalline polymer", which has mesogenic units attached directly to the backbone in a side-on mode, has been found to exhibit thermotropic liquid crystallinity similar to more conventional main-chain architectures. Stable free radical polymerization of PBBOS consistently produced molecular weight distributions below the theoretical limiting polydispersity of 1.5 calculated for a conventional free radical polymerization process. Surprisingly, a comparison of the synthesis of polystyrene to the polymerization of PBBOS under nearly identical conditions showed that the PBBOS polymerized with a significantly higher reaction rate and monomer conversion efficiency. The nematic phase of these polymers was determined to be stable over the temperature range spanning the polymer glass transition temperature up to the temperature for thermal decomposition. The molecular arrangement of the PBBOS polymers was examined by wide-angle X-ray diffraction and is described here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2338-2344
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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