Copolymers of N-pentafluorophenyl maleimide (PFPMI) with methyl methacrylate (MMA) were synthesized by a free radical initiator, such as AIBN. The refractive indexes of the copolymers remained nearly constant (1.4970 at 532 nm) regardless of the polymer composition. These copolymers also showed high thermal stability. The orientational and photoelastic birefringence of the copolymers obtained were measured. Since both of the orientational and photoelastic birefringences of PMMA are negative whereas poly(PFPMI) exhibits positive, thus we have obtained nearly zero orientational and photoelastic birefringence polymers when the ratios of MMA/PFPMI were 91.8/8.2 and 97.0/3.0 mol%, respectively. Based on the experimental data, the ratios of MMA/PFPMI for zero birefringence were determined to be 88.9/11.1 and 93.8/6.2 mol% for orientational and photoelastic birefringence, respectively. The T gs of corresponding copolymers were estimated to be 128 and 122 °C.
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