The polymer growth rate for polypropylene and polyethylene was measured, for the first time, during polymerization on a model Ziegler-Natta catalyst film with a surface area of ~1 cm2 by laser reflection interferometry. This technique is based on the difference in the refractive indices of the catalyst and the growing polymer film. A thin film of TiClx/MgCl2 deposited on a polycrystalline gold foil was used as a model catalyst. Polyethylene grew about 30 times faster than polypropylene. The changes in periodicity of the interference fringes indicated a slow decrease in the growth rate with increasing polymer film thickness. This may be due to the monomer diffusion that was controlled by the thickness and morphology of the growing polymer film.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry