The changes in intensity of the infrared bands of a ferroelectric melt-quenched, cold-drawn film of nylon-11 were measured as a function of a cyclic external electric field of 1.4 MV/cm. The infrared bands assigned to the NH stretching, amide I, NH-vicinal, and CO-vicinal CH2 scissoring modes showed butterfly-shaped hysteresis loops that are characteristic of ferroelectrics; however, the intensity changes of the infrared bands assigned to the CH2 antisymmetric and symmetric stretching modes are small and showed no butterfly-shaped hysteresis loops. These results indicate that the amide groups are inverted, while the methylene groups are not inverted under the external electric field. We propose a new molecular mechanism that explains the ferroelectric properties of nylon-11. Only the amide groups in the antiparallel β-sheet structure are inverted by the external electric field to form new hydrogen bonds; these two states form a nearly double-minimum potential.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films