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Nanomechanical Mapping, Hierarchical Polymer Dynamics, and Miscibility in the Presence of Chain-End Grafted Nanoparticles

Xavier, Priti and Bose, Suryasarathi (2016) Nanomechanical Mapping, Hierarchical Polymer Dynamics, and Miscibility in the Presence of Chain-End Grafted Nanoparticles. In: MACROMOLECULES, 49 (3). pp. 1036-1048.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.5b01849


To improve the spatial distribution of nano particles in a polymeric host and to enhance the interfacial interaction with the host, the use of chain-end grafted nanoparticle has gained popularity in the field of polymeric nanocomposites. Besides changing the material properties of the host, these grafted nanoparticles strongly alter the dynamics of the polymer chain at both local and cooperative length scales (relaxations) by manipulating the enthalpic and entropic interactions. It is difficult to map the distribution of these chain-end grafted nanoparticles in the blend by conventional techniques, and herein, we attempted to characterize it by unique technique(s) like peak force quantitative nanomechanical mapping (PFQNM) through AFM (atomic force microscopy) imaging and dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (DRS). Such techniques, besides shedding light on the spatial distribution of the nanoparticles, also give critical information on the changing elasticity at smaller length scales and hierarchical polymer chain dynamics in the vicinity of the nanoparticles. The effect of one-dimensional rodlike multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), with the characteristic dimension of the order of the radius of gyration of the polymeric chain, on the phase miscibility and chain dynamics in a classical LCST mixture of polystyrene/ poly(vinyl methyl ether) (PS/PVME) was examined in detail using the above techniques. In order to tune the localization of the nanotubes, different molecular weights of PS (13, 31, and 46 kDa), synthesized using RAFT (reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer) polymerization, was grafted onto MWNTs in situ. The thermodynamic miscibility in the blends was assessed by low-amplitude isochronal temperature sweeps, the spatial distribution of MWNTs in the blends was evaluated by PFQNM, and the hierarchical polymer chain dynamics was studied by DRS. It was observed that the miscibility, concentration fluctuation, and cooperative relaxations of the PS/PVME blends are strongly governed by the spatial distribution of MWNTs in the blends. These findings should help guide theories and simulations of hierarchical chain dynamics in LCST mixtures containing rodlike nanoparticles.

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 > Materials Engineering (formerly Metallurgy)
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2016 05:19
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2016 05:19
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53475

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