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Issue 9, 2016
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Entanglements in polymer nanocomposites containing spherical nanoparticles

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Abstract

We investigate the polymer packing around nanoparticles and polymer/nanoparticle topological constraints (entanglements) in nanocomposites containing spherical nanoparticles in comparison to pure polymer melts using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The polymer–nanoparticle attraction leads to good dispersion of nanoparticles. We observe an increase in the number of topological constraints (decrease of total entanglement length Ne with nanoparticle loading in the polymer matrix) in nanocomposites due to nanoparticles, as evidenced by larger contour lengths of the primitive paths. An increase of the nanoparticle radius reduces the polymer–particle entanglements. These studies demonstrate that the interaction between polymers and nanoparticles does not affect the total entanglement length because in nanocomposites with small nanoparticles, the polymer–nanoparticles topological constraints dominate.

Graphical abstract: Entanglements in polymer nanocomposites containing spherical nanoparticles

  • This article is part of the themed collection: Polymers
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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Aug 2015, accepted on 01 Feb 2016 and first published on 02 Feb 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02010G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2016,12, 2567-2574
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Entanglements in polymer nanocomposites containing spherical nanoparticles

    A. Karatrantos, N. Clarke, R. J. Composto and K. I. Winey, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 2567
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02010G

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