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Study of the dynamic heterogeneity in poly(ethylene-ran-vinyl acetate) copolymer by using broadband dielectric spectroscopy and electrostatic force microscopy

AuthorsKummali, Mohammed M.; Alegría, Ángel ; Miccio, Luis A.; Colmenero de León, Juan
Issue Date2013
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationMacromolecules 46(18): 7502-7512 (2013)
AbstractDynamic heterogeneities in ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) random copolymers were studied using broadband dielectric spectroscopy (BDS) over a broad frequency and temperature range. BDS data for EVA copolymers show relatively broad spectra extending over several frequency decades, which make interpretation of the data complicated. Thus, microscopic dielectric characterizations of the samples were done using single pass electrostatic force microscopy (SP-EFM) images. From these experiments two distinct dielectric contributions were found in the semicrystalline samples. Dielectric spectra of EVA copolymers were fitted using a model based on the SP-EFM images. According to this analysis, the broad dielectric responses of semicrystalline EVA copolymers were constituted from two dielectrically active phases, referred to as the constrained and nonconstrained phases, exhibiting different segmental relaxations. In the constrained phase, vinyl acetate (VA) motions were greatly restricted by crystalline microstructures, whereas in the nonconstrained phase, VA monomers were assumed to be completely free from crystalline effect. The glass transition temperature derived from the dynamics of the VA segments in the constrained phase was found to correspond well with that determined from DSC representing the overall amorphous phase in the more crystallized state. Moreover, crystallinity of the sample obtained using DSC was found to follow a similar variation with temperature to that of the dielectric relaxation strength of the constrained phase of the copolymers. However, at the earlier stage of crystallization, where crystallinity increases rapidly, the dielectric relaxation remains insensitive to it. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1021/ma4012522
issn: 0024-9297
e-issn: 1520-5835
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