Temperature-dependent surface nanomechanical properties of a thermoplastic nanocomposite
2017 (English)In: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, ISSN 0021-9797, E-ISSN 1095-7103, Vol. 494, 204-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In polymer nanocomposites, particle-polymer interactions influence the properties of the matrix polymer next to the particle surface, providing different physicochemical properties than in the bulk matrix. This region is often referred to as the interphase, but detailed characterization of its properties remains a challenge. Here we employ two atomic force microscopy (AFM) force methods, differing by a factor of about 15 in probing rate, to directly measure the surface nanomechanical properties of the transition region between filler particle and matrix over a controlled temperature range. The nanocomposite consists of poly(ethyl methacrylate) (PEMA) and poly(isobutyl methacrylate) (PiBMA) with a high concentration of hydrophobized silica nanoparticles. Both AFM methods demonstrate that the interphase region around a 40-nm-sized particle located on the surface of the nanocomposite could extend to 55–70 nm, and the interphase exhibits a gradient distribution in surface nanomechanical properties. However, the slower probing rate provides somewhat lower numerical values for the surface stiffness. The analysis of the local glass transition temperature (Tg) of the interphase and the polymer matrix provides evidence for reduced stiffness of the polymer matrix at high particle concentration, a feature that we attribute to selective adsorption. These findings provide new insight into understanding the microstructure and mechanical properties of nanocomposites, which is of importance for designing nanomaterials.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Press, 2017. Vol. 494, 204-214 p.
Atomic force microscopy, Interphase, Nanomechanical properties, Thermoplastic nanocomposite
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-203220DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2017.01.096ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85011072447OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-203220DiVA: diva2:1081446
QC 201703172017-03-142017-03-142017-03-17Bibliographically approved