Influence of the interfacial interaction strength on the viscoelasticity of hard–soft block copolymer based nanocomposites: a molecular dynamics simulation study†
The effect of the interaction strength between hard segments (soft segments) and nanofillers on the morphology and viscoelastic mechanical properties of nanocomposites based on hard–soft block copolymers was studied by adopting molecular dynamics simulations. The morphologies of the models studied in this work could be classified into three types, each with distinct mechanical properties. The Payne effect and reinforcement of G′ were successfully reproduced. Two mechanisms responsible for the viscoelastic behaviours were proposed, including damage of hard domains and desorption of polymer chains from the nanofillers. Further, the evolution of the polymer–nanofiller interface and hard domains was examined by monitoring the energy, snapshots, and corresponding microstructure parameters during deformation. The damage of hard domains was in the form of transforming from the compact state to the loose state.