, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 19-39

Vacuum Ultraviolet Photolysis of Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Polystyrene

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Abstract

Using infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), quartz crystal microbalance (QMB) measurements, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in combination with chemical derivatization techniques the VUV photolysis of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS) was investigated. A mass balance obtained from the quantification of the data was used to suggest reaction path ways. Although PE and PP behave similar, the mass loss is about 8 times higher in the case of PP. These differences originate from the higher disproportionation to recombination ratio for the branched polymer. Both polymers form double bonds and at extended treatment times they tend to crosslink. PS is rather stable due to the possibility of the energy dissipation by fluorescence.