Chemistry International
Vol. 22, No. 5, September 2000

2000, Vol. 22
No. 5 (September)
..Chemistry in Chile
..IUPAC Prize
..Air Quality in Denmark
..Highlights from the Web

..Reports from Symposia

..New Projects
..News and Notices
..Awards and Prizes
..New Books
..Provisional Recommendations
..Reports from Commissions
..Conference Announcements
..Conference Calendar

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Chemistry International
Vol. 22, No. 5
September 2000


New Project

Structure and Properties of Cyclic Olefin Copolymers

Modification of general purpose polyolefin materials to enhance their performance characteristics to the level of engineering plastics is currently a hot topic of industrial as well as academic research. Co-polymerization of ethylene with cyclic olefin monomers produces high-Tg, optically clear, low-shrinkage, low-moisture-absorption, and low-birefringence materials.

Such materials are currently being produced by Mitsui Petrochemical, Hoechst Celanese, Japan Synthetic Rubber, and Nippon Zeon Co., and they are being used as packaging materials, plastic lenses, and new substrates for compact discs and other optical storage media. Processing of cyclic olefin copolymers is rather difficult, and the relationship between their rheological properties and their chemical structure needs to be well established. Incorporation of polar monomers such as acrylates during copolymerization is sometimes employed to improve the adhesion properties. Surface characteristics exhibited with the inclusion of polar monomers also need to be analyzed.

IUPAC has approved a project to evaluate structure—property relationships of recently commercialized cyclic olefin copolymers by means of structure analysis, rheological measurement, surface characterization, and property estimation. This project is being coordinated by Prof. Sung Chul Kim, a Titular Member of IUPAC’s Commission on Polymer Characterization and Properties (IV.2), with participation of other members of the Commission. Comments from the chemistry and polymer community are welcome and should be addressed to the project coordinator, Prof. Sung Chul Kim, Department of Chemical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 373-1 Kusongdong, Yusongku, Taejon 305-701, Korea; Tel.: 82 42 869 3914; Fax: 82 42 869 3910; E-mail: kimsc@ See projects/2000/990391_400_00.html for project description and update.


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