Controlling the thermomechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites by tailoring the polymer–particle interface

Authors

  • Amitabh Bansal,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    2. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    Current affiliation:
    1. General Electric Global Research Center, Niskayuna, NY 12309
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  • Hoichang Yang,

    1. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
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  • Chunzhao Li,

    1. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    2. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
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  • Brian C. Benicewicz,

    1. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    2. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
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  • Sanat K. Kumar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    2. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027
    • Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
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  • Linda S. Schadler

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    2. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
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Abstract

We show that the thermomechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites are critically affected by polymer-particle wetting behavior. Silica nanoparticles grafted with dense polystyrene brushes of degree of polymerization 1050 are blended with polystyrene melts to form nanocomposites. It was found that low molecular weight (MW) polystyrene melts with lengths <880 wet these particles. Concurrently, the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the nanocomposite increases. At higher MW, the matrix does not wet the particles and the Tg decreases. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 44: 2944–2950, 2006

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