Two distinct mechanisms upon absorption of volatile organic compounds into siloxane polymers†
The response of polysiloxane materials to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and toluene (BTEX), as well as cyclohexane, acetone, methanol and isopropanol is studied using thin film large-angle refractometry. Refractive index and thickness changes are measured to quantify the diffusion rate and partition coefficients associated with the absorption and desorption of VOC vapours into polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polydiphenylsiloxane (PDPS) – PDMS copolymer films. Absorption of volatile solvent vapours into siloxane polymers is found to follow two distinct mechanisms with different absorption rates. These mechanisms are also associated with different excess volumes of mixing and may be accompanied by a polymer restructuring step.