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Modelling Monomer/Disc Composites Phase Behaviour

Authors

  • Francisco Torrens,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut Universitari de Ciència Molecular, Universitat de València, Edifici d'Instituts de Paterna, P. O. Box 22085, 46071 València, Spain
    • Institut Universitari de Ciència Molecular, Universitat de València, Edifici d'Instituts de Paterna, P. O. Box 22085, 46071 València, Spain.
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  • Clara M. Gómez,

    1. Institut Universitari de Ciència dels Materials, Universitat de València, Dr. Moliner–50, 46100 Burjassot (València), Spain
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  • Isidro S. Monzó,

    1. Departament de Química Física, Universitat de València, Dr. Moliner–50, 46100 Burjassot (València), Spain
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  • Concepción Abad,

    1. Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat de València, Dr. Moliner–50, 46100 Burjassot (València), Spain
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  • Agustín Campos

    1. Institut Universitari de Ciència dels Materials, Universitat de València, Dr. Moliner–50, 46100 Burjassot (València), Spain
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    • In memoriam of Professor Agustín Campos who deceased on May 14, 2008. He initiated our research on the thermodynamics of ternary polymer systems.


Abstract

Summary: A model developed by Balazs' group to explain the phase behaviour of polymer/clay composites is extended to obtain an expression for the free energy of polymer/thin disc mixtures. Phase diagrams for monomer/disc mixtures are built by minimizing the free energy and calculating the chemical potentials of the three system components. Via the comparison of the diagrams, it is studied the effects of nanodisc size and interaction parameters on mixture stability and attained morphology. The performed predictions between monomers and discs give criteria that advance the properties of the mixture. Changes in monomer concentration and interaction parameters provide a means to prevent van der Waals-induced agglomeration. The model takes into account, in only a rather approximate manner, the long-range interactions between clay sheets.

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