Novel thin-film polymerization and time evolution of liquid crystal texture during polymerization

Si Xue Cheng, Tai-Shung Chung*, Sanjoy Mullick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We have developed a novel thin-film polymerization technique to in situ examine and analyze polycondensation reactions and liquid crystal texture evolution for wholly aromatic liquid crystal copolymers poly(p-oxybenzoate/2,6-oxynaphthoate) (P(OBA/ONA)) as well as homopolymers poly(p-oxybenzoate) (POBA) and poly(2,6-oxynaphthoate) (PONA). The polycondensation reactions were conducted on the heating stage of a polarizing microscope atvarious temperatures and were characterized by FTIR. During the early stage of the reaction, liquid crystal areas increased through two mechanisms. One was domain growth of single droplet, and the other was coalescence by welding adjacent droplets. The former was mainly driven by chemical factor of chain growth, while the later was driven by both chemical factor of chain growth and physical factor of reducing system energy. The rate of liquid crystal area increasing was much faster in the case of coalescence. The progress of crystallization during the late stage of polymerization was found to be strongly dependent on the system morphology. Crystallization occurred rapidly if there was no stripe texture. Otherwise, crystallization was retarded or suppressed. For P(OBA/ONA) copolymers, the appearance of stripe texture was determined by monomer composition and reaction temperature. While for both POBA and PONA homopolymer systems, no stripe texture but only crystallization has ever been observed in the late stage of the reactions in our experimental temperature range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-674
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 22 1999


  • In situ polymerization
  • Liquid crystal texture
  • Polycondensation
  • Thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer
  • Thin-film polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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