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  • Original Article |

    The origin of the reaction rate acceleration in the microwave-assisted synthesis of poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) was investigated by measuring the rate of removal of the water by-product from the reaction solution under equivalent reaction conditions using both microwave and conventional heating methods. Microwave heating selectively activated and removed the water from the reaction solution more rapidly and to a greater extent than oil bath heating. These results indicate that the principal effect of microwave irradiation in the synthesis of PBS was the accelerated removal of the water by-product.

    • Ritsuko Nagahata
    • , Takashi Nakamura
    •  & Kazuhiko Takeuchi
  • Original Article |

    The interphase structure of isotactic poly(methyl methacrylate) (it-PMMA)/aluminananoparticle mixtures obtained from tetrahydrofuran (THF) solution was discussed. The it-PMMA in the mixtures forms two amorphous phases (crystallizable and incrystallizable phases) depending on casting conditions from THF. The polymer interphase on Al2O3 particles changes into a crystallizable structure with a trans-gauche rich conformation and amorphous. The interphase shows a lower Tg than the melt-cast one and is easy to crystallize at low temperature. The novel structure was formed by the conformation freezing of the polymer at Al2O3 surface.

    • Kazuki Matsuura
    • , Yasuhiro Matsuda
    •  & Shigeru Tasaka
  • Review |

    This review focuses on our novel approaches for developing functional polymers by dissociation phenomena of macromolecular complexes. One is highly swellable polymer gels, superabsorbent polymers for nonpolar organic solvents, and the other is thermo-responsive polymers at ambient temperature in nonpolar solvents. Both of them are well-known in water, but no design has ever been proposed for other media. The dissociation of the macromolecular complexes plays a key role for them. Therefore, controlling the dissociation processes in supramolecular chemistry should be another important strategy for emerged dynamic functions.

    • Kazuki Sada
  • Original Article |

    Amphiphilic incompletely condensed polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes possessing various substituents and poly(ethylene glycol)s of different chain lengths have been developed. It has been elucidated that their self-association behaviors in water are dependent on the substituents and chain lengths of poly(ethylene glycol)s. Precise molecular design, excellent thermal stability, and good dispersibility have been realized at once.

    • Hiroaki Imoto
    • , Ryoichi Katoh
    • , Tomoko Honda
    • , Shin-ichi Yusa
    •  & Kensuke Naka
  • Original Article |

    Polydiacetylene (PDA) derivatives exhibit color change with application of external stimuli, such as heating and mechanical stress. The original layered PDA shows the irreversible color transition from blue to red with heating at the threshold temperature. Here we found that the alkyldiamine-intercalated PDA induced the different color-change properties, such as the raise of the color-transition temperature, the temperature-dependent color-change, and the reversible color change. The intercalated diamines have the stabilization effect of the layered polymer. The stimuli-responsive color-change properties can be tuned by the intercalated organic guests.

    • Yuya Oaki
    • , Yukiko Ishijima
    •  & Hiroaki Imai
  • Original Article |

    Reverse osmosis membranes have been playing a main role for the desalination of water in the world. Hydration structure of polyamide functional layer of the membrane was studied via neutron scattering and atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. Experimental and computational structure factors, S(Q), of the polyamide/water system showed good agreement. Water clusters in water-rich system were well connected to each other and formed channel-like structure. Polyamide–water interactions and polyamide-polyamide interactions, which are thought to be important to enhance the performance of the membranes, were examined in detail.

    • Tomonori Kawakami
    • , Masaru Nakada
    • , Harutoki Shimura
    • , Kazuyuki Okada
    •  & Masahiro Kimura