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Nanoparticle Network Formation in Nanostructured and Disordered Block Copolymer Matrices

Author(s): Gaines Michelle | Smith Steven | Samseth Jon | Khan Saad | Spontak Richard

Journal: Nanoscale Research Letters
ISSN 1931-7573

Volume: 5;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 1712;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Block copolymer | Colloidal network | Nanostructured polymer | Nanocomposite | Silica | Nanoparticles | Fumed silica | Colloidal silica

Abstract Incorporation of nanoparticles composed of surface-functionalized fumed silica (FS) or native colloidal silica (CS) into a nanostructured block copolymer yields hybrid nanocomposites whose mechanical properties can be tuned by nanoparticle concentration and surface chemistry. In this work, dynamic rheology is used to probe the frequency and thermal responses of nanocomposites composed of a symmetric poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) (SM) diblock copolymer and varying in nanoparticle concentration and surface functionality. At sufficiently high loading levels, FS nanoparticle aggregates establish a load-bearing colloidal network within the copolymer matrix. Transmission electron microscopy images reveal the morphological characteristics of the nanocomposites under these conditions.
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