April 2001

From Virginia Tech

Researchers discover an easier way to make a complex but useful molecule

(Blacksburg, Va., April 4, 2001) -- The architecture of star-shaped molecules gives them valuable properties. Some motor oils contain such molecules, for example. The star-shaped block copolymers allow higher solids concentrations and require less solvent than other polymers, flow easily and smoothly during processing, and result in a more elastic material.

Now Virginia Tech chemists have discovered a way to make these complex molecules more easily and efficiently. The research will be presented at the American Chemical Society's 221st national meeting in San Diego.

Graduate students David T. Williamson and Jeremy R. Lizotte and professor Timothy E. Long used a cyclohexadiene compound to make thermoplastic elastomer with high-temperature properties and star-shaped molecules, which produced "excellent elastic films," says Williamson.

This is the first reported example of an efficient synthesis of thermoplastic elastomer containing this novel diene monomer. The paper, "Facile living anionic polymerization processes: New monomers and polymer architectures containing 1,3-cyclohexadiene without a high vacuum line (PMSE 464 )." will be presented at 10 a.m. April 4 San Diego Marriott Marina G. It will discuss both synthesis and monitoring processes.

The research is also due to be published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal, Macromolecule. The work has been sponsored by Kraton Polymers and the Petroleum Research Fund of the ACS.

Reach Dr. Long at 540-231-2480 or telong@vt.edu.

www.chemistry.vt.edu/chem-dept/NSF/STCweb1/LongWeb/index.html
www.chemistry.vt.edu/chem-dept/NSF/STCweb1/LongWeb/grouppages/dave.htm
www.chemistry.vt.edu/chem-dept/NSF/STCweb1/LongWeb/grouppages/jeremy.htm












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