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Unusual Fragility and Cooperativity in Glass-Forming and Crystalline PVDF/PMMA Blends in the Presence of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes

Sharma, Maya and Madras, Giridhar and Bose, Suryasarathi (2015) Unusual Fragility and Cooperativity in Glass-Forming and Crystalline PVDF/PMMA Blends in the Presence of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes. In: MACROMOLECULES, 48 (8). pp. 2740-2750.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1021/acs.macromol.5b00418


Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) are completely miscible below 50 wt % PVDF in the blends. In this work, an attempt was made to understand the fragility/cooperativity relation in glass-forming and crystalline blends of PVDF/PMMA and in the presence of a heteronucleating agent, multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Hence, three representative blends were chosen: a completely amorphous (10/90 by wt, PVDF/PMMA), on the verge of amorphous miscibility (50/50 by wt, PVDF/PMMA), and crystalline (60/40 by wt, PVDF/PMMA) blends. The intermolecular cooperativity/coupling, fragility, and configurational entropy near the glass transition temperature (T-g) were studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and broadband dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (DRS). It was observed that the blends with higher concentration of PMMA were more fragile (fragility index m = 141) and those with higher concentration of PVDF were more strong (m = 78). Interestingly, the coupling was less in the glass-forming blends (10/90 by wt, PVDF/PMMA) than the crystalline blends as manifested from DRS. This observation was also supported by DSC measurements which reflected that the cooperative rearranging region (CRR) existed over a smaller length scales in fragile blends as compared to strong blends, possibly due to restricted amorphous mobility. This effect was more prominent in the presence of CNTs, in particular for 50/50 (by wt) and 60/40 (by wt) PVDF/PMMA blends. Further, the configurational entropy, as manifested from DRS, decreased significantly in the strong blends in striking contrast to the fragile blends, supported by DSC, which manifested in an increase in the volume of cooperativity in the strong blends. The higher coupling in the crystalline blends can be attributed to good packing of the amorphous regions. While this is understood for crystalline blends (60/40 by wt, PVDF/PMMA), it is envisaged that enhanced dynamic heterogeneity is accountable for increased coupling in the case of blends which are on the verge of amorphous miscibility (50/50 by wt, PVDF/PMMA). The latter is also supported by broad relaxations near the T-g in DRS. Interestingly, the intermolecular coupling in the blends in the presence of CNTs has reduced, though the potential energy barrier hindering the rearrangement of CRR is lower than the blends without CNTs. In addition, the amorphous packing is not as effective as the blends without CNTs. This is manifested from reduced volume of cooperativity in particular, for 50/50 (by wt) and 60/40 (by wt) blends.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Materials Engineering (formerly Metallurgy)
Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Nano Science and Engineering
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2015 06:21
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2015 06:21
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/51734

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