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Synthesis and characterization of hybrid films from hyperbranched polyester using a sol–gel process



Hybrid organic/inorganic materials were prepared by an in situ sol–gel process using tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) in the presence of hyperbranched polyester. The influences of hyperbranched polyester molar mass as well as the amount of TEOS were examined. The condensation degree was characterized by solid state 29Si NMR. The combination of solubility tests, calcination tests, SAXS and dynamic mechanical analysis allowed us to investigate the hybrid material nanostructure. The results show high compatibility between the inorganic silica phase and the organic polymer phase, due to the spherical shape of the hyperbranched polymer and its numerous hydroxyl groups. As a consequence, a continuous inorganic phase was formed even with a low silica precursor content without any macroscopic phase separation. These hybrid materials have a high Tg and high storage modulus even at an elevated temperature combined with improved thermal stability. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39830.