Manipulation of Molecular Weight Distribution Shape as a New Strategy to Control Processing Parameters

Milena Nadgorny, Dillon T. Gentekos, Zeyun Xiao, S. Parker Singleton, Brett P. Fors*, Luke A. Connal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular weight and dispersity (Ð) influence physical and rheological properties of polymers, which are of significant importance in polymer processing technologies. However, these parameters provide only partial information about the precise composition of polymers, which is reflected by the shape and symmetry of molecular weight distribution (MWD). In this work, the effect of MWD symmetry on thermal and rheological properties of polymers with identical molecular weights and Ð is demonstrated. Remarkably, when the MWD is skewed to higher molecular weight, a higher glass transition temperature (Tg), increased stiffness, increased thermal stability, and higher apparent viscosities are observed. These observed differences are attributed to the chain length composition of the polymers, easily controlled by the synthetic strategy. This work demonstrates a versatile approach to engineer the properties of polymers using controlled synthesis to skew the shape of MWD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700352
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


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