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Chemical Heterogeneity in Interfacial Layers of Polymer Nanocomposites


It is well-known that particle-polymer interactions strongly control the adsorption and conformations of adsorbed chains. Interfacial layers around nanoparticles consisting of adsorbed and free matrix chains have been extensively studied to reveal their rheological contribution to the behavior of nanocomposites. This work focuses on how chemical heterogeneity of interfacial layers around the particles governs the microscopic mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites. Low glass-transition temperature composites consisting of poly(vinyl acetate) coated silica nanoparticles in poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(methyl acrylate) matrices; and of poly(methyl methacrylate) silica nanoparticles in poly(methyl acrylate) matrix are examined using rheology and X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy. We demonstrate that miscibility between adsorbed and matrix chains in interfacial layers lead to the observed unusual reinforcement. We suggest that packing of chains in the interfacial regions may as well contribute to the reinforcement in polymer nanocomposites. These features may be used in designing adaptive composites operating at varying temperature.

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Mar 2018, accepted on 15 May 2018 and first published on 15 May 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00663F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Chemical Heterogeneity in Interfacial Layers of Polymer Nanocomposites

    S. Yang, S. Liu, C. Zhang, S. Narayanan and P. Akcora, Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00663F

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