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Nanoparticle induced miscibility in LCST polymer blends: critically assessing the enthalpic and entropic effects

Xavier, Priti and Rao, Praveen and Bose, Suryasarathi (2016) Nanoparticle induced miscibility in LCST polymer blends: critically assessing the enthalpic and entropic effects. In: PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 18 (1). pp. 47-64.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5cp05852j


The use of copolymer and polymer blends widened the possibility of creating materials with multilayered architectures. Hierarchical polymer systems with a wide array of micro and nanostructures are generated by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) in partially miscible polymer blends. Various parameters like the interaction between the polymers, concentration, solvent/non-solvent ratio, and quenching temperature have to be optimized to obtain these micro/nanophase structures. Alternatively, the addition of nanoparticles is another strategy to design materials with desired hetero-phase structures. The dynamics of the polymer nanocomposite depends on the statistical ordering of polymers around the nanoparticle, which is dependent on the shape of the nanoparticle. The entropic loss due to deformation of polymer chains, like the repulsive interactions due to coiling and the attractive interactions in the case of swelling has been highlighted in this perspective article. The dissipative particle dynamics has been discussed and is correlated with the molecular dynamics simulation in the case of polymer blends. The Cahn Hillard Cook model on variedly shaped immobile fillers has shown difference in the propagation of the composition wave. The nanoparticle shape has a contributing effect on the polymer particle interaction, which can change the miscibility window in the case of these phase separating polymer blends. Quantitative information on the effect of spherical particles on the demixing temperature is well established and further modified to explain the percolation of rod shaped particles in the polymer blends. These models correlate well with the experimental observations in context to the dynamics induced by the nanoparticle in the demixing behavior of the polymer blend. The miscibility of the LCST polymer blend depends on the enthalpic factors like the specific interaction between the components, and the solubility product and the entropic losses occurring due to the formation of any favorable interactions. Hence, it is essential to assess the entropic and enthalpic interactions induced by the nanoparticles independently. The addition of nanoparticles creates heterogeneity in the polymer phase it is localized. This can be observed as an alteration in the relaxation behavior of the polymer. This changes the demixing behavior and the interaction parameter between the polymers. The compositional changes induced due to the incorporation of nanoparticles are also attributed as a reason for the altered demixing temperature. The particle shape anisotropy causes a direction dependent depletion, which changes the phase behavior of the blend. The polymer-grafted nanoparticles with varying grafting density show tremendous variation in the miscibility of the blend. The stretching of the polymer chains grafted on the nanoparticles causes an entropy penalty in the polymer blend. A comparative study on the different shaped particles is not available up to date for understanding these aspects. Hence, we have juxtaposed the various computational studies on nanoparticle dynamics, the shape effect of NPs on homopolymers and also the cases of various polymer blends without nanoparticles to sketch a complete picture on the effect of various particles on the miscibility of LCST blends.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, THOMAS GRAHAM HOUSE, SCIENCE PARK, MILTON RD, CAMBRIDGE CB4 0WF, CAMBS, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Materials Engineering (formerly Metallurgy)
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 07:33
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2016 07:33
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53317

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