Precision Polystyrene-sulfonate (PSS)
Recent research in the Kennemur Group has discovered a methodology for making a polystyrene-polyethylene-type copolymer analog .The reduction in phenyl branch periodicity for our system dramatically reduces the glass transition temperature (Tg) from 110 °C (PS) to ~17 °C (H2-P4PCP) and remains amorphous; this makes our system prone to improved softening and flexibility at ambient temperatures. Furthermore, due to the precise and diluted spacing of the phenyl branches, we envisioned that the full sulfonation (i.e. one sulfonate functionality per phenyl branch) of this polymer would create a new materials that rivals PSS due to the enhanced flexibility of the native polymer. Here it should be noted that ethylene and styrene monomers can be copolymerized to form ethylene-styrene copolymers (for example Dow INDEX ESI Interpolymers), however, the catalysts used are complex, styrene incorporation is not precise, and it is very difficult to achieve high styrene content due to the differences in reactivity between ethylene and styrene.