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Matrix-grafted multiwalled carbon nanotubes/poly(methyl methacrylate) nanocomposites synthesized by in situ RAFT polymerization: A kinetic study

Authors

  • Saeid Rahimi-Razin,

    1. Department of Polymer Engineering and Color Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, P.O. Box 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran
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  • Vahid Haddadi-Asl,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Engineering and Color Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, P.O. Box 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran
    • Department of Polymer Engineering and Color Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, P.O. Box 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran
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  • Mehdi Salami-Kalajahi,

    1. Department of Polymer Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, P.O. Box 51335-1996, Tabriz, Iran
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  • Farid Behboodi-Sadabad,

    1. Department of Polymer Engineering and Color Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, P.O. Box 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran
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  • Hossein Roghani-Mamaqani

    1. Department of Polymer Engineering and Color Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, P.O. Box 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran
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Abstract

A new approach was developed to functionalize multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with a polymerizable methyl methacrylate (MMA) groups, and the structure of functionalized MWCNTs were characterized by FTIR, Raman, XPS, and TEM. Using the strategy of “grafting through,” poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) chains were grafted onto the surface of MWCNTs during the in situ synthesis of MWCNT/PMMA nanocomposites over reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Kinetics of RAFT-mediated polymerization of MMA in the presence of MMA-grafted MWCNTs was studied by using gas chromatography and gel permeation chromatography. To further study, attached polymers were detached and their molecular characteristics were compared to freely formed chains. Results of kinetic studies showed that the utilized commercial chain transfer agent strictly reduced the rate of polymerization as well as relatively controlled molecular weights and narrow molecular weight distributions of free chains. MWCNTs showed a radical activity, retarding the polymerization and reducing the rate of reaction. The effect of MWCNTs concentrations on molecular weights and polydispersity indexes (PDI) was different at the surface and in the bulk. The molecular weights of free chains increased, and the PDI was decreased with increasing MWCNTs. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Chem Kinet 44: 555–569, 2012

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