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# Spectroscopic studies of short/long range ordering in polymers

#### Abstract

The work presented in this thesis is divided into three chapters. In Chapter 1 a general overview is presented of short/long range ordering in polymers. Chapter 2 then discusses the use of vibrational spectroscopy to probe the short range conformational order present in a series of Langmuir films at the air-water interface. Finally, the use of vibrational spectroscopy to probe the long range conformational order in a bulk polymer, poly($\beta$-hydroxybutyrate) is presented in Chapter 3. Using external reflection infrared spectroscopy, we were able to directly characterize the structure of series of "hairy-rod" polymers at the air-water interface. The overall structure of the films were related to the short range conformational order of long side groups attached to the rigid-rod backbones. The structure of the films were also studied as a function of surface packing density at the air-water interface by the use of a Langmuir trough coupled directly to the external reflection infrared spectroscopy setup. A Raman active longitudinal acoustic mode capable of probing the long range conformational order associated with crystalline regions was discovered for the biodegradable thermoplastic, poly($\beta$-hydroxybutyrate). The dependence of this mode on the fold length of crystalline lamella was clearly established. The annealing behavior of single crystals of poly($\beta$-hydroxybutyrate) was also studied.

Polymers

#### Recommended Citation

Chien, Bert, "Spectroscopic studies of short/long range ordering in polymers" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9809320.
https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9809320

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