Types and Effects of Linkages on Nature of Polymers, Chemistry tutorial


Bonds between chains of polymer are termed cross-links. They cause stiffness in polymers.  Similar types of configurations exist for all monosubstituted ethylenes as propene. Their coordination polymerizations are aided by Ziegler-Natta catalysts that are complexes of transition metal halides through organometallic compounds. Subsequent discoveries via Karl Ziegler of Max Planck Institute for Coal Research and Guilio Natta of Polytechnic Institute of Milan in the year 1953 [They jointly got the nobel prize in the year 1963], ionic polymerization that provides better quality products, started to have more significance than the earlier known free-radical kind, by variable properties. 

Main content 

Stereochemically controlled coordination polymerization provides 3 basic configurations: isotactic, syndiotactic and atactic polymers. Formation of cross-linkings between chains of polymers is dependable for its rigidity. 

Types of linkages in the polymer

Linear, Alternating, Copolymer and Terpolymer are basic polymers shaped due to dissimilar linkages of monomers in the polymer. The arrangements of monomers in the polymers are as well significant. Linear polymers have the simplest structures; they are formed from a kind of monomer that has a single functional group. They are referred to as homopolymers.-A-A-A-A- etc.  An example is natural rubber [poly isoprene], polythene and polypropene.  If a polymer is made of 2 kinds of monomers, it is termed a Copolymer. There could be dissimilar kinds of copolymers depend on the arrangements of the 2 monomers: 

i. Linear alternating possesses regularly alternating monomers. This copolymer has frequent and regular swinging between the 2 monomers therefore 

                      A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B- and so on 

ii. Statistical copolymers have the 2 monomers accidentally distributed depending on each monomer's reactivity. They are alternatively termed 'random copolymer'. A-A- B-A-B-B-B-A-A-A-A-B-B- They have monomer residues arranged according to a recognized statistical rule. A statistical copolymer in that the probability of finding a particular type of monomer residue at a particular point in the chain is independent of the kinds of surrounding monomers might be termed to as a truly random copolymer

iii. Polymers in Blocks have sequence in the copolymer through substantial blocks of each monomer kind  -A-A-A-A-B-B-B-B-B-A-A-A-A-B-B-B-B-B- and so on. Block copolymers have two or more homopolymer subunits bonded via covalent bonds. Polymers through two or three blocks of 2 distinct chemical species (for example A and B) are termed di-block copolymers and tri-block copolymers, correspondingly. Polymers through 3 blocks, each of a different chemical species (for example A, B, and C) are termed tri-block terpolymers.

iv. Grafted copolymer have blocks of the monomers grafted on backbone of the others like branches. They enclose side chains that contain a different composition or configuration than the main chain. 

v. Polymers shaped from not less than 3 different monomers comprise terpolymers. [see tri-block terpolymers above]. 

Activity A: 1. what are Periodic copolymers? 


Formation of chemical bonds between the chains of a polymer is termed cross-bonding. They are networked polymer chains. Polymer molecule through a high degree of cross linking is termed to as a polymer network. It raises stiffness in polymers. Cross-linkings impose constrain on the relative movement of the chains in the polymer, rendering the material harder and less stretchy. Rigidity of a polymer based on the number of cross-links, the more the cross-bonds, the harder the polymer. We have considered vulcanization of natural rubber using sulphur as cross-links where the above effect is examined. Absence of cross-links among molecular chains of thermoplastics gives it its flexible properties, and can be remolded. Introduction of cross-bonds whenever thermosettings are heated is responsible for their holding to the shapes permanently. Isoprene chapter in natural rubber [polyisoprene] have double bonds that contain the chain extensions on the same side of the double bond- 'cis polyisoprene' making

It as well flexible and extremely reactive, so it's not extremely helpful. But on addition of sulphur in vulcanization it becomes hardened, stable and less susceptible to oxidation. The sulphur form cross-links at the double bonds. Amount of sulphur added determines rigidity of the rubber. 

Let us see cross-linking in Bakelite: Bakelite is a commercially important polymer

Which is frequently utilized when a strong, brittle polymer is required? Shown below is the first step in the formation of the Bakelite. Here, 2 molecules of resorcinol are heated through formaldehyde (H2CO) and a strong; covalent bond is shaped between them.

1409_cross-linking in Bakelite.jpg

Fig: cross-linking in Bakelite

When the mixture is heated for a longer time, many more bonds between the molecules are formed. Such bonds consequence in the formation of a polymeric structure by considerable cross-linking. This structure is extremely hard to deform since of such bonds and, as a consequence, is hard and brittle. A small fragment of such a Bakelite polymer molecule is exposed below.

1622_Bakelite polymer molecule.jpg

Fig: Bakelite polymer molecule

Implications of cross-linking in polymers

In networked polymers adequately high crosslink concentrations may lead to the formation of an infinite network, as well recognized as a gel, in that networks of chains are of unlimited extent - essentially all chains have bonded into one molecule. The physical properties of a polymer are strongly dependent on the size or length of the polymer chain. For instance, as chain length is enhanced, melting and boiling temperatures raise rapidly. Resistance of impact as well tends to increase through chain length, similarly the viscosity, or resistance to flow, of the polymer in its melt state. Chain length is related to melt viscosity roughly as 1:103.2, so that a tenfold enhance in polymer chain length consequences in a viscosity enhance of over 1000 times. Increasing chain length furthermore tends to reduce chain mobility, increase strength and toughness, and increase the glass transition temperature (Tg). This is a consequence of enhance in chain interactions these as Van der Waals attractions and entanglements that come by enhanced chain length. Such interactions tend to fix the individual chains more powerfully in position and resist deformations and matrix breakup, both at higher stresses and higher temperatures.

An ordinary means of expressing the length of a chain is the degree of polymerization that quantifies the number of monomers incorporated into the chain. As by other molecules, a polymer's size might as well be stated in terms of its molecular weight. Because synthetic polymerization methods classically yield a polymer product including a range of molecular weights, the weight is often expressed statistically to describe the distribution of chain lengths present in the same.  The ratio of such 2 values is the polydispersity index, generally utilized to express the 'width' of the molecular weight distribution. Another measurement is the contour length that can be understood as the length of the chain backbone in its fully extended state. The flexibility of an unbrsanched chain polymer is illustrated via its persistence length. 

Activity B: Describe each of 1. Glass transition temperature (Tg). 

2. Polydispersity index        3. Contour length         4. Van der Waal's forces in polymers   


In the polymerization of propene [CH3-CH=CH2] to provide the chain

1785_carbon are chiral.jpg

Fig: Carbons are chiral [asymetric]

There can exist 3 configurations depend on the arrangement and positions of the branched methyls: isotactic, syndiotactic and atactic. This is as well termed 'tacticity'. It explains the relative stereochemistry of chiral centers in neighboring structural units inside a macromolecule. The 3 kinds are isotactic by all substituents on the similar side; atactic through random placement of substituents; and syndiotactic by alternating placement of substituents. In isotactic [in Greek implies: 'similar order'] polymer each methyl is on one side of the entirely extended chain. Regular alternations of the substituent methyl group on both sides exist in syndiotactic that in Greek implies 'alternating'. There is random orientation of the methyl substituents in atactic, making it non-uniform.  


The physical properties of the polymers powerfully based on such arrangements. Regular packing and consistency of isotactic and syndiotactic polymers might be utilized in expecting they will likely have elevated degree of Crystallinity and might be solids. Atactic configuration is more disordered and may not be well packed; therefore the polymer might be less rigid and softer. The mechanism via which they are made computes the configuration the polymer will have. Generally branched atactic polymers are shaped via radical polymerizations. Polymers by the most stereo-regularity are generated through anionic polymerizations. Percentage of chains by isotactic and syndiotactic configurations rises as temperature of polymerization reduces by reduce in polarity of solvent. Polymers by isotactic and syndiotactic configurations are harder and stronger than the atactic ones. As well they have better mechanical properties than tactic.

K. Ziegler and G. Natta in the year 1953, worked with trialkyl aluminium-titanium chloride [R3Al-TiCl4]. They posed that several metallic catalysts that will permit stereo-specific reactions do provide syndiotactics or isotactics. Structure of a polymer can be controlled if the end of the raising chain and incoming monomer is coordinated through R3Al-TiCl4 as initiator. Usually such initiators which are complexes of transition metal halides through organometallic compounds are now termed Ziegler-Natta catalysts. The kind of Ziegler-Natta catalyst will find out which of syndiotactic or isotactic polymers will be shaped. The Ziegler-Natta catalyst produces more quality products, in addition to provides linear molecules and permits stereochemically controlled reactions, than earlier attained via free-radical polymerizations. Nowadays the Ziegler-Natta processes are extremely significant in syntheses of stronger, stiffer polymers by greater resistance to heat and cracking. High-density polyethylene [HDPE] is an instance that employs this procedure. 

Mechanism of the Ziegler-Natta procedure for substituted ethylenes is described therefore: The monomers provide a π-complex through titanium at the open site of coordination that can admit electrons. The coordinated alkene is inserted between titanium and growing polymer, therefore extending polymer chain. A new coordination site is as well created. The procedure is replicated over and over.   At the coordination site a growing carbanion is generally connected by a metallic cation. This ion-pair is significant in polymerization reactions. Bonding between the reactive site and the metal is noticeably covalent and it rises, therefore termed coordination polymerization. The organic chain that is growing is not fully an anion, but has anion-like character. There is nucleophilic addition of double bond in the monomer to the carbanion-like growing organic group of organometallic material as nucleophile. The transition metal as well complexes through the π-electrons on the monomer, therefore holding it as the reaction site. 


ZN-R   2092_aro.jpg  ZN- CH2=CH2-R CH2=CH2 ZN-CH2=CH2--CH2=CH2R CH2=CH2 and so on.

More properties of polymers

i. Mechanical Properties refers to the bulk properties of a polymer that are those most often of end-utilize interest. Such are the properties that dictate how the polymer in fact performs on a macroscopic scale.

ii. Tensile strength of a substance quantifies how much stress the material will endure before failing. This is extremely significant in applications that rely upon a polymer's physical strength or durability. For instance, a rubber band through a higher tensile strength will hold a greater weight before snapping. In general tensile strength enhances through polymer chain length and cross-linking of polymer chains.

iii. Young's modulus of elasticity quantifies the elasticity of the polymer. It is described, for small strains, as the ratio of rate of transform of stress to strain. As tensile strength, this is extremely relevant in polymer applications involving the physical properties of polymers, these as rubber bands. The modulus is powerfully dependent on temperature.

iv. Transport properties these as diffusivity relate to how quickly molecules move through the polymer matrix. Such are extremely significant in many applications of polymers for films and membranes. 

v. Melting point when applied to polymers, proposes not a solid-liquid phase transition but a transition from a crystalline or semi-crystalline phase to a solid amorphous phase. Though abbreviated as simply Tm, the property in question is more properly termed the crystalline melting temperature. Among synthetic polymers, crystalline melting is only conversed through regards to thermoplastics, as thermosetting polymers will decompose at high temperatures rather than melt.

vi. Boiling point of a polymeric material is powerfully dependent on chain length. High polymers by a huge degree of polymerization don't exhibit a boiling point since they decompose before reaching theoretical boiling temperatures. For shorter oligomers, a boiling transition might be examined and will usually rise speedily as chain length is amplified.

vii. Glass transition temperature is a parameter of particular interest in synthetic polymer manufacturing. It explains the temperature at which amorphous polymers undergo a second-order phase transition from a rubber-like, viscous amorphous solid, or from a crystalline solid (depending on the degree of crystallization) to a brittle, glassy amorphous solid. The glass conversion temperature might be engineered via altering the degree of branching or cross-linking in the polymer or through the calculation of plasticizers. 

viii. Usually in mixing behavior, polymeric mixtures are far less miscible than mixtures of smaller materials. This consequence results from the fact that the driving force for mixing is generally the entropy, not interaction energy. In other terms, miscible materials generally form a solution not since their interaction by each other is more favorable than their self-interaction, but since of a raise in entropy and therefore free energy connected by raising the amount of volume available to each component. This enhance in entropy scales by the number of particles (or moles) being combined. Because polymeric molecules are much larger and therefore usually have much higher precise volumes than small molecules, the number of molecules engaged in a polymeric mixture is far less than the number in a small molecule mixture of equal volume. The energetics of mixing, on the other hand, is comparable on a per volume basis for polymeric and small molecule mixtures. This tends to increase the free energy of mixing for polymer solutions and thus make solvation less favorable. Thus, concentrated solutions of polymers are far rarer than those of small molecules. In dilute solution, the properties of the polymer are characterized by the interaction between the solvent and the polymer. In a good solvent, the polymer appears swollen and occupies a large volume. In this scenario, intermolecular forces between the solvent and monomer subunits dominate over intramolecular interactions. In a bad solvent or poor solvent, intramolecular forces dominate and the chain contracts. In the solvent, or the state of the polymer solution where the value of the second virial coefficient becomes 0, the intermolecular polymer-solvent repulsion balances exactly the intramolecular monomer-monomer attraction. Under the theta condition (as well termed the Flory condition), the polymer performs as an ideal random coil.

ix. Inclusion of plasticizers tends to lower Tg and raise polymer flexibility. Plasticizers are commonly small molecules that are chemically alike to the polymer and generate gaps between polymer chains for superior mobility and decreased inter-chain interactions. A good instance of the action of plasticizers is related to polyvinylchlorides or PVCs. A PVC, or unplasticized polyvinylchloride, is utilized for things these as pipes. A pipe has no plasticizers in it, since it requires remaining strong and heat-resistant. Plasticized PVC is utilized for clothing for a flexible quality. Plasticizers are as well put in several kinds of cling film to build the polymer more flexible.

x. Chemical properties are due to attractive forces between polymer chains that play a huge part in determining a polymer's properties. Since polymer chains are so extended, such inter-chain forces are improved far beyond the attractions between conventional molecules. Dissimilar side groups on the polymer can provide the polymer to ionic bonding or hydrogen bonding between its own chains. Such stronger forces typically consequence in higher tensile strength and higher crystalline melting points. The intermolecular forces in polymers can be influenced via dipoles in the monomer units. Polymers through amide or carbonyl groups can form H-bonds between adjacent chains; the partially completely charged hydrogen atoms in N-H groups of one chain are strongly attracted to the partially negatively charged oxygen atoms in C=O groups on another. Such strong hydrogen bonds, for instance, consequence in the high tensile strength and melting point of polymers enclosing urethane or urea linkages. Polyesters have dipole-dipole bonding between the oxygen atoms in C=O groups and the hydrogen atoms in H-C groups. Dipole bonding isn't as strong as hydrogen bonding, so polyester's melting point and strength are lower than Kevlar's (Twaron), but polyesters have greater flexibility. Ethene, though, has no permanent dipole. The attractive forces between polyethylene chains occur from weak van der Waals forces. Molecules can be thought of as being surrounded through a cloud of negative electrons. As 2 polymer chains approach, their electron clouds repel one another. This has the consequence of lowering the electron density on one side of a polymer chain, creating a slight positive dipole on this side. This alleges is sufficient to attract the 2nd polymer chain. Van der Waals forces are quite weak, though, so polyethene can have a lower melting temperature compared to other polymers.

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