Two calorimetric glass transitions do not necessarily indicate immiscibility: The case of PEO/PMMA

  • Lodge T
  • Wood E
  • Haley J
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Differential scanning calorimetry has been used to examine blends of a poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), Mn = 300 g/mol, and a poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA), Mn = 10,000 g/mol, across the complete composition range. The relatively low molar mass of the PEO minimizes interference from crystallization. In the midrange of composition, ∼25–70% PEO, two broad, but distinct, glass transitions are resolved. These are interpreted as distinct glass transitions of the two components, as anticipated by the self-concentration model of Lodge and McLeish. The composition dependence of the observed transitions is well described by the self-concentration approach, using lengthscales of approximately two-thirds of the Kuhn length. The results are compared with previous measurements on PEO/PMMA blends and other miscible systems. The principal, general conclusion is that one should actually expect two glass transitions in a miscible polymer blend or polymer solution; the rule of thumb that two transitions indicate immiscibility is incorrect. Furthermore, attempts to rationalize two transitions on the basis of incomplete segmental mixing, or other unspecified “nanoheterogeneity,” may not be justified in many cases.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Blends
  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Glass transition

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  • Timothy P. Lodge

  • Elizabeth R. Wood

  • Jeffrey C. Haley

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