A range of hydrophobic sorbent polymers based on crosslinked polystyrene have been prepared with high nominal crosslink ratios of 55-100%, and with varying levels of toluene as a porogen (comonomer/porogen volume ratios of 0.5/1, I/l, 2/1 and 3/1). Contrast enhanced, energy filtered transmission electron micrographs, from dry and freeze-dried polymer embedded in Lowicryl resin and from frozen-hydrated sections of these sorbents, have been obtained in order to allow a direct visual comparison of these materials to be made without using heavy metal stains. In addition, 'real-time' electron microscopical images were captured via a video output to generate segmented pixel arrays in which grey level values were used to produce quantitative data relating to the polymers' pore structure. This was achieved by applying unsophisticated computer-assisted image analysis techniques. Despite the hydrophobic character of the sorbents, the results show clearly that these matrices expand significantly on hydration and that major changes in the pore sizes and their distribution take place. The relative changes observed within the matrix of sorbents examined are discussed in terms of the currently accepted structural models of pore structure. The techniques described offer the prospect of characterizing polymer sorbents in their hydrated and therefore applied state, and hence lay the foundation for a more rational design of sorbents in the future.
Посилання на статтю:
Molecular architectural changes in hydrated macroporous styrene-divinylbenzene resin sorbents revealed by transmission electron microscopy using image analysis / I. M. Huxham, B. Rowatt and D. C. Sherrington // Polymer. – 1992. – Vol 33. – P. 2768-2777.