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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 33, Number 3
BKCSDE 33(3)
March 20, 2012 

Characterization of Thermal Degradation of Polytrimethylene Terephthalate by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry
Sungwoo Jang, Eun Kyung Yang, Sung Il Jin, Young Dal Cho, Eun Kyung Choe, Chan Ryang Park*
MALDI-TOF MS, PTT, Thermal degradation, β-CH hydrogen transfer, End group
The thermal degradation products of polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) obtained by heating the sample in the temperature range of 250-360 oC under non-oxidative conditions was characterized using MALDI-TOF (matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization) mass spectrometry. The structures of the degradation products were determined and the relative compositions were estimated. The MALDI-TOF mass spectra of the thermally degraded PTT sample showed three main series of oligomer products with different end groups, which were carboxyl/carboxyl, carboxyl/allyl, and allyl/allyl. In contrast to the thermal degradation of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the oligomers containing terephthalic anhydrides were not detected, whereas the formation of oligomers containing the unsaturated allyl ester group was confirmed by mass assignment. From these results, it was concluded that the thermal degradation of PTT proceeds exclusively through the β- CH hydrogen transfer mechanism, which is in accordance with the proposed reaction mechanism for the thermal degradation of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).
833 - 838
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