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Kinetics of high density functional polymer nanocomposite formation by tuning enthalpic and entropic barriers

Swain, A and Das A, N and Chandran, S and Basu, JK (2021) Kinetics of high density functional polymer nanocomposite formation by tuning enthalpic and entropic barriers. In: Soft Matter, 18 (5). pp. 1005-1012.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1039/d1sm01681d


High density functional polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) with high degree of dispersion have recently emerged as novel materials for various thermo-mechanical, optical and electrical applications. The key challenge is to attain a high loading while maintaining reasonable dispersion to attain maximum possible benefits from the functional nanoparticle additives. Here, we report a facile method to prepare polymer grafted nanoparticle (PGNP)-based high density functional polymer nanocomposites using thermal activation of a high density PGNP monolayer to overcome entropic or enthalpic barriers to insertion of PGNPs into the underlying polymer films. We monitor the temperature-dependent kinetics of penetration of a high density PGNP layer and correlate the penetration time to the effective enthalpic/entropic barriers. The experimental results are corroborated by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. Repeated application of the methodology to insert nanoparticles by appropriate control over temperature, time and graft-chain properties can lead to enhanced densities of loading in the PNC. Our method can be engineered to produce a wide range of high density polymer nanocomposite membranes for various possible applications including gas separation and water desalination.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Soft Matter
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Royal Society of Chemistry.
Keywords: Desalination; Dispersions; Gas permeable membranes; Grafting (chemical); Molecular dynamics; Nanocomposite films; Nanoparticles; Polymer films; Water filtration, Degree of dispersion; Density functionals; Enthalpic barriers; Entropic barrier; Nanocomposite formations; Novel materials; Polymer nanocomposite; Polymer-grafted nanoparticles; Polymer-nanocomposite; Thermo-mechanical applications, Nanocomposites
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2022 05:28
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2022 05:28
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/73872

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