Specific volume-hole volume correlations in amorphous carbohydrates: Effect of temperature, molecular weight, and water content

Sam Townrow, Mina Roussenova, Maria Isabelle Giardiello, Ashraf Alam, Job Ubbink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The specific volume and the nanostructure of the free volume of amorphous blends of maltose with a narrow molecular weight distribution maltopolymer were systematically studied as a function of temperature, water content, pressure, and blend composition. Correlations between the hole free volume and the specific volume were investigated in the glassy and rubbery phases and in solution using positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) and pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) measurements, with the aim to provide a consolidated mechanistic understanding of the relation between changes in molecular packing and at the molecular level and the behavior of the specific volume at the macrolevel. Both specific volume and hole volume show a linear dependence on the temperature, but with a slope which is higher in the rubbery state than in the glassy state. As a function of temperature, the hole volume and the specific volume are linearly related, with no discontinuity at the glass transition temperature (Tg). In the glassy state, both the specific volume and the hole volume decrease nonlinearly with the addition of maltose to the maltopolymer matrix, due to a more efficient molecular packing. For variations in carbohydrate composition, a linear dependence between the hole volume and the specific volume was again observed. The role of water was found to be significantly more complex, with increasing water content causing an increase in density in both the glassy and rubbery phases indicating that water exists in a highly dispersed state with a significantly lower specific molar volume than in bulk water. At very low water contents, the hole volume and the specific volume both decrease with increasing water content, which suggests that water acts as both a hole filler and a plasticizer. In the glassy state at slightly higher water contents, the specific volume continues to slowly decrease, but the hole size passes through a minimum before it starts to increase. This gives rise to a negative correlation between the hole volume and the specific volume which has not previously been observed and which can be interpreted in terms of water molecules which are dispersed within the glassy carbohydrate matrix and which thereby influence the hydrogen bonding between the carbohydrate molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1568-1578
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume114
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 4 2010
Externally publishedYes

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