This research was divided into two main parts. In the first part, a new facile route to relatively inexpensive thermoplastic polyphenoxyquinoxalines was developed. The synthetic route involves the aromatic nucleophilic substitution reaction of bisphenols with 2,3-dichloroquinoxaline. The dichloro monomer was prepared in two steps. In the first step, oxalic acid was condensed with o-phenylenediamine to give 2,3-dihydroxyquinoxaline. In the second step, 2,3-dihydroxyquinoxaline was treated with thionyl chloride to give 2,3-dichloroquinoxaline. This monomer was successfully polymerized with bisphenol-A, bisphenol-S, hexafluorobisphenol-A and 9,9-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)fluorenone. Hydroquinone and biphenol, however, can not be polymerized to high molecular weight polymers because of the premature precipitation of crystalline oligomers. The glass transition temperatures of the high molecular weight polymers prepared from a series of bisphenols range from 191 °C to 279 °C, and their thermal decomposition temperatures are around 500 °C. The polymers are soluble in a wide range of solvents and can be solution-cast into thin films that are colorless and transparent. The polymers have tensile strengths ranging from 61 to 107 MPa, and tensile moduli ranging from 3.5 to 2.3 GPa. The synthesis of polymer obtained from 2,3-dichloroquinoxaline and bisphenol-A was scaled up to afford 500 g of material. This polymer is a thermoplastic with a melt-viscosity less than 1000 Pa.s. at 300 °C. The notched Izod impact strength of injection-molded samples of this polymer is 40.7 J/m.
In the second part of this research, the synthetic method has been modified to allow the preparation of quinoxaline containing polyimides. Thus, 2,3-dichloroquinoxaline was treated either with p-nitrophenol followed by reduction of nitro groups, or with p-aminophenols to directly obtain the desired 2,3-(4-aminophenoxy)quinoxaline. This diamine was polymerized with 3,3',4,4'-biphenyldianhydride, 4,4'-oxydiphthalic anhydride and 2,2'-bis(3,4-dicarboxyphenyl)hexafluoropropane dianhydride. The polymerizations were carried out by the two step method. The poly(amic acid) intermediates were thermally imidized. Although they have high molecular weights judged by their inherent viscosities ranging from 0.51 to 1.01, thin films of all these polyimides were brittle. The glass transition temperatures of the polyimides range from 259 °C to 282 °C with thermal decomposition temperatures around 550 °C. The polyimide obtained from 2,3-(4-aminophenoxy)quinoxaline and 3,3',4,4'-biphenyldianhydride was found to be semi-crystalline.