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Keywords:

  • tailor-made polystyrene;
  • nanocomposite;
  • ATRP

Abstract

Tailor-made polystyrene nanocomposite with mixed free and clay-attached polystyrene chains was synthesized using atom transfer radical polymerization. Vinylbenzyl trimethylammonium chloride having a double bond, which could be incorporated into polystyrene chains by a grafting through process, was used as a nanoclay modifier. Conversion and molecular weight evaluation was carried out using gas chromatography and gel permeation chromatography, respectively. The thermogravimetric analysis results confirmed the elevated thermal stability of the nanocomposites in comparison with the neat polystyrene sample. Additionally, the Tg increases by clay loading was confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The difference in the degradation temperature of C[BOND]Br bond in attached and free polystyrene chains was well revealed in DSC thermograms. Finally, a lower clay loading resulted in an exfoliated structure as proved by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy results. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011