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Cluster size distribution of spherical nanoparticles in polymer nanocomposites: rheological quantification and evidence of phase separation

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Abstract

Currently, it is a great challenge to characterize the dispersion quality of nanoparticles in nanocomposites through experimental techniques. In this work, we suggest a new rheological method based on the strain rate amplification effect to determine the cluster size distribution in polymer nanocomposites. The dispersion exponents of nanoparticles from this rheological method are in good agreement with the cluster analysis of transmission electron microscope (TEM) images. We also obtain a critical value of the dispersion exponent from the effective specific surface area of clusters, which separates the well-dispersed state and the phase-separated state. Our results indicate that rheology can be used as a convenient and effective structural analysis method to characterize the nanoparticle cluster size distribution in polymer nanocomposites.

Graphical abstract: Cluster size distribution of spherical nanoparticles in polymer nanocomposites: rheological quantification and evidence of phase separation

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Mar 2017, accepted on 11 May 2017 and first published on 11 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00632B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article
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    Cluster size distribution of spherical nanoparticles in polymer nanocomposites: rheological quantification and evidence of phase separation

    W. You, W. Yu and C. Zhou, Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00632B

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