Shi, T., Ziegler, V. E., Welge, I. C., An, L., Wolf, B. A.

"Evolution of the interfacial tension between polydisperse immiscible’ polymers in the absence and in the presence of a compatibilizer "

Macromolecules 2004, 37, 1591-1599.

Abstract: The interfacial tension sigma between two polyisobutylenes (PIB) of dissimilar polydispersity and two polydisperse samples of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was measured as a function of time by means of a pendent drop apparatus at different temperatures ranging from 30 to 110 degreesC. In addition to three of the four possible binary blends, the time evolution of sigma was also determined for one ternary system, where the PIB phase contained 0.03 wt % of a diblock copolymer poly(isobutylene-b-dimethylsiloxane). The pronounced decrease of sigma with advancing time, observed in all cases, is attributed to the migration of the interfacially active lower molecular weight components of the homopolymers and of the compatibilizer into the interphase. Several days are normally required until a becomes constant. These time independent values are not considered as equilibrium data, but accredited to stationary states. A kinetic model is established for sigma(t), which enables a detailed investigation of the rates of transport of the different migrating species of average molar mass of M. Its application to the present data discloses that the characteristic times tau of their diffusion depend on M-d, where the estimated d values vary between 2.9 and 5.1. The modeled dependence of tau on the viscosities of the coexisting phases suggests that the activation energies for tau should be found somewhere between the activation energies for the viscous flow of these bulk phases. The experimental observations corroborate this postulate.

preprint number: 252