Synthesis and identification of polystyrene via conventional and controlled radical polymerization methods: Effect of temperature, initiator and transfer agent on molecular weight and reaction rate

Document Type : Original research


Polymer Reaction Engineering Department, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box: 14115-114, Tehran, I.R. Iran


Polystyrene (PSt) has been known as one of the important polymers with a wide range of applications. Ability to synthesize PSt with different but predictable molecular weights for various applications is very important in the laboratories and industries. In this study, using various simple and inexpensive techniques with only free radical mechanism, it was tried to synthesize PSt with different low (< 2×104 g mol-1) to high (> 105 g mol-1) molecular weights. PSts with high and moderate molecular weights (2×104-105 g mol-1) were synthesized using thermal and conventional free radical polymerizations, respectively. Reverse iodine transfer radical polymerization (RITP) was utilized to synthesize PSt with a low and controlled molecular weight. Conversion, molecular weight distribution and PSt structure were analyzed using 1H-NMR spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatography (SEC), respectively. Moreover, ω-iodo poly(dimethylsiloxane), i.e. PDMS-I, was also used as a macrotransfer agent for ITP of styrene. Diblock copolymer of PDMS-b-PSt was characterized by 1H-NMR and SEC analyses.


Main Subjects

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  • Receive Date: 27 August 2018
  • Revise Date: 27 October 2018
  • Accept Date: 04 November 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 January 2019