The thermal degradation characteristics of head-to-head poly(styrene) [HHPS] should provide insight with respect to the impact
of head-to-head placement on the thermal stability of traditional atactic head-to-tail polymer [HTPS]. The synthesis of head-to-head
poly(styrene) must be accomplished indirectly. The head-to-head polymer is most satisfactorily obtained by dissolving metal
reduction of poly(2,3-diphenyl-1,3-butadiene) [PDBD] generated by radical polymerization of the corresponding diene monomer.
Full saturation of the polymer mainchain requires several iterations of the reduction procedure. Since the decomposition of
poly(2,3-diphenyl-1,3-butadiene) is prominent at 374C and that for head-to-head poly(styrene) is similarly facile at 406C,
it seemed feasible that TG of partially hydrogenated PDBD might be utilized as a convenient means of monitoring the extent
of hydrogenation. This has been demonstrated for various levels of unsaturation remaining - from approximately 90 to less
than 10%. Within this range the peak areas from the DTG plots of the partially hydrogenated polymer provide a good reflection
of the ratio of unsaturated to saturated units in the polymer. Even low levels of unsaturation in the polymer may be detected
by the asymmetry of the decomposition peak for the polymer.