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Foam Structure of Xerogel Prepared Via Ring-Opening Reaction Between Epoxy Groups Attached on the Side Chain of Polystyrene

Kentaro Yamanaka, Keiji Nagai, Nobukatsu Nemoto, Kaori Nomura, Tomonori Shimoyama, Kei Tanji, Tomoya Tanji, Mitsuo Nakai, Takayoshi Norimatsu

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 51 / Number 4 / May 2007 / Pages 665-672

Technical Paper /

This paper deals with a new foam material containing polysytrene and its oxirane derivative. A monomer, 4-vinylphenyloxirane (M1), was prepared from 4-chlorostyrene. Polystyrene-based copolymers using styrene and M1 were prepared by free radical copolymerization using azo-bis(isobutyronitrile) (AIBN) as an initiator. The solutions of the obtained polystyrene-based copolymers in 4-chlorotoluene were gelated by the addition of a cationic initiator, which caused crosslinking via ring-opening polymerization of the pendant cyclic moieties. SEM images of the dried gel show various foam structures. The formation mechanism of the micro- and nano-structure was explained from the view point of the affinity of the monomer unit and the solvent. The homopolymer of 4-vinyphenylolxirane showed the finest and most uniform structure.

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