Lab 3 - Experiment 3: Synthesis of Polymers CHM2123 Section...

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Experiment 3: Synthesis of Polymers CHM2123 Section A By: Sarah Seang Partner: Rebecca Massey T.A.: Craig McKay Due: Monday, October 18, 2010 Theory and Mechanism:
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Polymerization is a chemical process that react monomers together to form polymers. Methyl methacrylate, commonly known as Lucite or Plexiglas, is an example of a polymer. When reacted with a radical initiator such as benzoyl peroxide, the process of polymerization occurs rapidly. Since benzoyl peroxide is organic soluble, therefore an organic solvent is required. During the process of polymerization, the liquid sample becomes increasingly viscous and then hardens into a transparent solid. The mechanism involved in polymerization is illustrated below: Polyacrylamide is another polymer in which the formation mechanism is the same as that of methyl methacrylate, except it is performed in water with a water-soluble radical, such as ammonium persulfate,(NH 4 ) 2 S 2 O 8 . Afterwards, a cross-linking agent, like N,N’ -methylene bisacrylamide, is added to create a polymer of much higher average molecular weight that is less soluble. Polymer cross-linking is a process in which the polymer becomes less soluble due to an increase in its average molecular weight by means of using a cross-linking agent. For example, sodium borate (borax) is used to form three-dimensional polymers since the geometry around the silicon atom is tetrahedral. In addition, the cross-linkage provides considerable opportunity for
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Lab 3 - Experiment 3: Synthesis of Polymers CHM2123 Section...

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