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Polymer International
Book reviews
Desk reference of functional polymers: syntheses
and applications
Reza Arshady (ed)
American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 1998
pp xii ‡ 820, price $194.95
ISBN 0-8412-3469-8
The term `functional polymer' can be problematic,
meaning different things to different people. In this
book, it is taken to signify a broad area of polymer
science and engineering involving the design, synthesis
and study of macromolecular materials of increasing
structural sophistication and complexity, useful for a
wide range of chemical, physicochemical and biomedical processes. Throughout, there is a particular
emphasis on the use of functional polymers in the
emerging technologies and the design and property
requirements that variously obtain. This emphasis is
reinforced by the inclusion, in most of the chapters, of
a concluding section considering future prospects.
This book comprises 42 chapters from 78 contributors, organised into ®ve parts, namely (1) General
synthetic methods, (2) Radiation effects and applications, (3) Optoelectronic properties and applications,
(4) Chemical and physicochemical applications and
(5) Biomedical applications. Part one opens with an
excellent contribution from MontheÂard et al on
Functional polymers via free radical polymerization of
chloromethylstyrene and proceeds through the following
®fteen chapters to review the synthesis of functional
polymers by anionic, Ziegler±Natta and living cationic
polymerization and other exotic systems, of which
Perfect Diels±Alder ladder polymers: precursors for extended p-conjugation (SchuÈter et al) is particularly
notable. Part two contains six chapters, of which
Functional polymers for microlithography: chemically
ampli®ed imaging systems (Ito) is outstanding. In Part
three the contributions from Pethrick (Conducting
polymers) and Robello (Functional polymers for secondorder nonlinear optics) are highlights. Part four covers
Chemical and Physicochemical Applications in four
chapters, that by Zhou et al on Functional polymers for
chemical sensors being one of the most lucid and
stimulating reviews I have read on this topic. Part ®ve
concludes the book and contains an excellent treatment of Homopolymers and copolymers of 2-hydroxyethyl
methacrylate (once again, by MontheÂard et al).
Polym Int 49:135 (2000)
This is a splendid and diverse work which will, I
think, achieve its eponymous ambition to serve as a
desk reference. In total, 3 763 references are cited. The
prospective tone and insightful quality of most of the
chapters should ensure its utility and relevance over a
reasonable period. It should be considered seriously
for acquisition by research groups working in the area
of functional polymers and their applications.
MD Purbrick
Polymer surfaces – from physics to technology
F Garbassi, M Morra and E Ochiello (eds)
John Wiley and Sons Ltd, Chichester UK, 1998
pp ix ‡ 486, price, 40
ISBN 0-471-97100-6
This volume, a revised and updated edition of a book
originally published in 1994, is divided into four parts.
The ®rst of these comprises two short chapters, The
origin of surface properties and Dynamics of polymer
surfaces which serve as a clear and effective introduction. The second part, Characterization Methods,
accounts for approximately one third of the books
length and is subdivided into three chapters, Spectroscopic methods, Surface energetics and contact angle and
New and emerging methods. As well as addressing a wide
range of techniques, Spectroscopic methods usefully
concludes with a summary table which compares the
attributes and capabilities, eg sensitivity, depth pro®ling and area observed, for 13 different methods.
Specimen preparation problems, and surface damage
attendant to each method, are also indicated, with 439
references. The chapter on New and emerging methods
includes (alongside electrostatic interactions and neutron re¯ectivity) a section on surface force measurement which, curiously, omits atomic force microscopy.
Part three presents a relatively brief treatment of
Modi®cation Techniques while the fourth (concluding)
part covers Applications over the course of ®ve chapters. These are entitled Wettability, Adhesion, Barrier
properties, Biomedical materials and Friction and wear,
and provide accessible and informative overviews of
these topics.
This is a well organized and carefully produced
book, with over 2000 references, which should prove
useful and interesting to a wide audience within the
polymer community.
# 2000 Society of Chemical Industry. Polym Int 0959±8103/2000/$17.50
MD Purbrick
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