Synthesis and thermomechanical characteristics of zwitterionic poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers

Yi Yang, Hoda Shokrollahzadeh Behbahani, Brian F. Morgan, Frederick L. Beyer, Alexis Hocken, Matthew D. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Charge-containing polymeric materials have been widely studied for a range of applications. The fundamental relationships between the charge species, charge density, and the microscale morphology of charge-containing polymers are critical for defining the application in which they may be used. In this work, a series of thermoplastic poly(arylene ether sulfone) (PAES) copolymers with controllable sulfobetaine charge contents (0–100 mol%) and high molecular weights (Mw ∼ 65 kDa) were prepared. All the zwitterionic PAESs synthesized showed thermal stability up to 250 °C. DSC and tensile tests showed a decreased Tg and mechanical strength with the incorporation of increasing charge density, which suggests a plasticization effect by the charged group. Electron microscopy and X-ray scattering data confirmed the absence of microphase separation in the ion-containing random copolymer system, which corroborated with the observation of a single Tg for all zwitterionic copolymers studied. Furthermore, the relative hydrophilicity of the samples was evaluated by water uptake measurements, which revealed that the water uptake of the zwitterionic PAESs can reach up to 64% for the 72 mol% zwitterion copolymer while the free-standing film in the wet state still maintains a Young's modulus of 185 MPa. The thermoplastic charge-containing copolymers in this work demonstrated potential for applications such as coatings or water purification membranes, in which balancing hydrophilicity, processibility, and thermomechanical performance are important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125522
StatePublished - Jan 3 2023


  • Poly(arylene ether sulfone)s
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • Random copolymer
  • Sulfobetaine zwitterion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesis and thermomechanical characteristics of zwitterionic poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this