Cover Image, Volume 50, Issue 23


original image

With the advent of new techniques, it is now possible to compatibilize nanoscopic particles with polymers. The effect of such particles on the macroscopically observed properties of the mixture can be predicted. At these length scales, due to the large surface-to-volume ratio of the nanoparticles, the polymer-nanoparticle interface plays a crucial role on enhanced properties. A systematic scanning of nanoparticle size and interaction strength by molecular dynamics simulations displays how altered dynamics at the interface modifies mechanical properties, as presented on page 1653 by Canan Atilgan and colleagues. A thermodynamical analysis indicates that structural inhomogeneities collectively organize, leading to the observed material behavior.