Rheological behavior of entangled Polystyrene-Polyhedral Oligosilsesquioxane (POSS) copolymers

Jian Wu, Timothy S. Haddad, Gyeong Man Kim, Patrick T. Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


We report on the linear viscoelastic properties of a family of entangled linear thermoplastic nonpolar hybrid inorganic-organic polymers: random copolymers of polystyrene (PS) and styryl-based polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (POSS), R7(Si8O12)(C6H 4CH=CH2), with R = isobutyl (iBu). A series of styrene-styryl POSS random copolymers with 0, 6, 15, 30, and 50 wt% iBuPOSS were investigated. WAXS and TEM demonstrate that the iBuPOSS disperses in the polymeric matrix at a molecular level. It is observed that the iBuPOSS plays a plasticizer-like effect, yielding a monotonic decrease of the glass-transition temperature with increasing iBuPOSS content. Rheological measurements revealed that linear viscoelastic behavior of the copolymers is also profoundly influenced by the presence of iBuPOSS. The incorporation of iBuPOSS dramatically decreases the rubbery plateau modulus (GN0), suggesting a strong dilation effect of isobutyl-POSS on entanglement density. Additionally, the apparent flow activation energy, obtained by fitting the Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman-Hesse equation, monotonically increases with increasing iBuPOSS content, indicating a lower sensitivity of POSS copolymers to changes of temperature. We attribute our observations to the microscopic topology of constituent polymer chains to be altered by iBuPOSS comonomers that act as compact volumetric branches. Conversely, intermolecular interactions between iBuPOSS and PS segments do not play an essential role in determining the rheological behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-554
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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