Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), X-ray scattering, and dielectric relaxation spectroscopy were used to investigate the structure and dynamics of Zn-neutralized sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) ionomers. STEM and X-ray scattering revealed the presence of spherical aggregates ∼2 nm in diameter. Successful fitting of scattering data to the Kinning - Thomas modified hard sphere model provided information on aggregate diameter, radius of closest approach, and number density. The analysis revealed that aggregate size is independent of degree of sulfonation and neutralization level, and that aggregate composition becomes increasingly ionic with increasing neutralization. Two segmental relaxations were identified in dielectric loss spectra corresponding to cooperative motion of chain segments in the matrix and motions of segments restricted by aggregates. Additionally, a Maxwell-Wagner-Sillars interfacial polarization process was revealed, with relaxation times in good agreement with predictions from a simple spherical polarization model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry