Enhanced mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites using dopamine-modified polymers at nanoparticle surfaces in very low molecular weight polymers
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- Enhanced mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites using dopamine-modified polymers at nanoparticle surfaces in very low molecular weight polymers
- Kwon, Na Kyung; Kim, Hyunhong; Han, Im Kyung; Shin, Tae Joo; Lee, Hyun-Wook; Park, Jongnam; Kim, So Youn
- Issue Date
- AMER CHEMICAL SOC
- ACS MACRO LETTERS, v.7, no.8, pp.962 - 967
- While incorporation of nanoparticles in a polymer matrix generally enhances the physical properties, effective control of the nanoparticle/polymer interface is often challenging. Here, we report a dramatic enhancement of the mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) using a simple physical grafting method. The PNC consists of low molecular weight poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and silica nanoparticles whose surfaces are modified with dopamine-modified PEG (DOPA-mPEG) brush polymers. With DOPA-mPEG grafting, the nanoparticle surface can be readily altered, and the shear modulus of the PNC is increased by a factor of 105 at an appropriate surface grafting density. The detailed microstructure and mechanical properties are examined with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and oscillatory rheometry experiments. The attractive interactions between particles induced by DOPA-mPEG grafting dramatically improve the mechanical properties of PNCs even in an unentangled polymer matrix, which shows a much higher shear modulus than that of a highly entangled polymer matrix.
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