Molecular weight distribution of polystyrene made by anionic polymerization

Wonmok Lee, Hyunjung Lee, Junhoe Cha, Taihyun Chang, Kenneth J. Hanley, Timothy P. Lodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


A set of polystyrenes of varying molecular weights was synthesized by anionic polymerization under identical conditions, and their molecular weight distributions were critically examined. Polymerization of styrene was initiated with 2-butyllithium in cyclohexane at 45°C. During the polymerization, seven aliquots of the reaction mixture were taken out at various reaction times using a cannula and terminated. The polymerization time varying molecular weights and molecular weight distributions of the polystyrenes were analyzed by temperature gradient interaction chromatography (TGIC) as well as size exclusion chromatography. The molecular weight distribution of the polystyrene approaches the Poisson distribution in the late stages of the polymerization, in accordance with the early prediction of Flory. We also confirmed that the molecular weight distribution of polystyrenes determined by TGIC is close to the true value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5111-5115
Number of pages5
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 11 2000


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