The radiation chemistry of ultem at 77 K as revealed by ESR spectroscopy

Sheila Devasahayam, David J. T. Hill, Peter J. Pomery, A. K. Whittaker

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Radical formation in ultem following gamma-radiolysis has been reassessed, and the G(R*) values at different temperatures have been determined by ESR spectroscopy. The radical assignment and radical reactivity have been re-examined by photobleaching and thermal annealing studies. Photobleachable radical anions were found to comprise approximate to40% of the total number of radicals formed on radiolysis at 77 K. Spectral subtraction methods, ESR spectral simulations, measurement of g-values and the hyperfine splitting constants were used to identify the other radical intermediates. The principal chain scission radicals are formed due to scission of the main-chain at (i) the ether linkage, (ii) the isopropylidene group and (iii) the imide ring in the main chain. The side chain methyl groups of the isopropylidine units also lose hydrogen to form methylene radicals. The five-line spectrum observed to decay in the temperature range 370-430 K, which has not been assigned previously, has been identified as being characteristic of a di-substituted benzyl radical. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-308
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Physics and Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • ultem
  • gamma-radiation
  • radicals
  • ESR spectroscopy
  • g-values and G-values


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