Copolymerization is a useful way of modifying the physical properties of a material to meet specific needs, but it can result in a significant light scattering loss due to dielectric fluctuations in the material. Ideal random copolymers are known to be more transparent; however, the light-scattering properties of such copolymers in bulk have not been fully studied. In this paper, two representative ideal random copolymers were synthesized: methyl methacrylate (MMA)/benzyl methacrylate (BzMA) and MMA/2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate (TFEMA). The effects of copolymer composition and polymerization temperature on the light-scattering properties were investigated. Polarized light scattering (VV) in copolymers was more sensitive to the polymerization temperature. Higher temperatures were necessary to homogenize the dielectric fluctuations and minimize excess light scattering. However, once the heterogeneous structures vanished, the copolymer bulk exhibited low scattering losses, which are comparable with homopolymers, over the entire range of copolymer compositions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas