New method to analyze dielectric relaxation processes: A study on polymethacrylate series

Silvia Soreto Teixeira, Carlos J. Dias, Madalena Dionisio, Luís C. Costa

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The relaxation properties of polymethacrylates of the n-alkyl series with n=l, 2 and 4 (poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), poly(ethyl methacrylate) (PEMA) and poly(n-butyl methacrylate) (PnBMA)) have been measured and analyzed in order to relate their properties to the size of the lateral side chains. The n-alkyl series has been regarded as a model system and was used in this work to test a graphical data analysis method. Essentially, four relaxation processes were detected in the three polymers: the γ, β, α and αβ relaxations, in increasing order of temperature. It was found that the γ relaxation has a low activation energy, of around 36.3-38.5kJmol-1, independent of the side chain, exhibiting low entropy of activation values when referring to the Eyring description of the activation parameters. The β relaxation was found to be similar in PMMA and PEMA, showing an activation energy of 88.8kJmol-1, increasing to 112.8kJmol-1 in PnBMA. The activation entropy was also found to be low for this relaxation, although greater than that for the γ relaxation. In contrast, the α relaxation is quite different in these polymers. We observed a gradual shift in the glass transition temperature towards lower temperatures as the side chain increases in length. The manner in which the α transition makes its way into the dielectric spectra is more abrupt in PMMA than in PnBMA, denoting a higher fragility in the former polymer. Finally, there is a significant difference in the coalescence scenarios of the α and β relaxations for temperatures higher than the glass transition temperature, where they give rise to the so-called αβ relaxation. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1744-1749
Number of pages6
JournalPolymer International
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Dielectric relaxation
  • Glass transition
  • Impedance spectroscopy
  • Polymethacrylates


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