(739a) Tuning Physical Properties of Block Copolymers Containing Fatty Acid-Derived Long-Chain Polyacrylates (Invited Talk)
Vegetable oils and their fatty acids are promising replacements for petroleum sources due to their abundance, low cost, lack of toxicity, biodegradability and ease of functionalization that provides convenient routes to polymerization. In this study, the properties of long-chain polyacrylates were explored, derived from fatty acids found in vegetable oils. The thermal and mechanical properties of triblock copolymers containing the long-chain polyacrylates were readily tuned by variation of the acrylate composition and resulting distribution of side-chain lengths. Surprisingly, the alkyl side-chain length of the polyacrylate did not impact the thermodynamic interactions between the components of the triblock copolymers. This provides a route to manipulating the physical properties of the polymers through variation of the side-chain length without impacting the phase behavior and morphology. Shear alignment of the triblock copolymers produced highly aligned close-packed spherical morphologies. The development of structure-property relationships in these polymers will enable the widespread implementation of fatty-acid derived materials.