ABSTRACT The photodegradation of thin films of poly (4-chlorostyrene) and poly (4-bromostyrene) with 265 nm radiation in the presence of oxygen and as a function of irradiation time has been studied mainly using fluorescence, FT-IR, and UV-VIS spectroscopic techniques. The influence of phthalate and terephthalate plasticizers on photo-oxidative degradation was also investigated. Phthalate and terephthalate-plasticizers were found to increase the photodegradation processes in polymeric chains. On the other hand, the intensity of absorption was also found to increase with irradiation time and in the intensity of a new absorption band at longer wavelength. The appearance of new fluorescence bands in the irradiated polymer films can well indicate a possibility of photodegradation of polymer films. In addition, the observed increase in the intensities of the carbonyl and hydroxyl regions of the FT-IR spectra, providing evidence for the photodegradation as well as the photo-oxidation of polymeric chains. The increase in the analyzed ranges was attributed to the formation of alcohols, aliphatic ketones and to the increase in the number of (C=C) that resulted from hydrogen abstraction during chains - scission.
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