Neutron Scattering of Solution-Grown Polymer Crystals: Molecular Dimensions Are Insensitive to Molecular Weight

Science  19 Jan 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4377, pp. 263-265
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4377.263


Neutron scattering gives information on molecular conformations in solid solutions of polymers of one isotope in another. Results on crystals of polyethylene grown from solution show a molecular dimension (in the form of a radius of gyration) that is almost invariant with the length of the chain. It is proposed that certain lengths of folded chains fold back onto themselves to form stacks of chain-folded ribbons ("superfolding").