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Hydrophobic matrix-free graphene-oxide composites with isotropic and nematic states
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Coating Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3310-9964
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Coating Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8194-0058
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
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2016 (English)In: Nanoscale, ISSN 2040-3364, E-ISSN 2040-3372, Vol. 8, 14730-14745 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We demonstrate a novel route to synthesise hydrophobic matrix-free composites of polymer-grafted graphene oxide (GO) showing isotropic or nematic alignment and shape-memory effects. For the first time, a cationic macroinitiator (MI) has been immobilised on anionic GO and subsequently grafted with hydrophobic polymer grafts. Dense grafts of PBA, PBMA and PMMA with a wide range of average graft lengths (MW: 1–440 kDa) were polymerised by surface-initiated controlled radical precipitation polymerisation from the statistical MI. The surface modification is designed similarly to bimodal graft systems, where the cationic MI generates nanoparticle repulsion, similar to dense short grafts, while the long grafts offer miscibility in non-polar environments and cohesion. The state-of-the-art dispersions of grafted GO were in the isotropic state. Transparent and translucent matrix-free GO-composites could be melt-processed directly using only grafted GO. After processing, birefringence due to nematic alignment of grafted GO was observed as a single giant Maltese cross, 3.4 cm across. Permeability models for composites containing aligned 2D-fillers were developed, which were compared with the experimental oxygen permeability data and found to be consistent with isotropic or nematic states. The storage modulus of the matrix-free GO-composites increased with GO content (50% increase at 0.67 wt%), while the significant increases in the thermal stability (up to 130 °C) and the glass transition temperature (up to 17 °C) were dependent on graft length. The tuneable matrix-free GO-composites with rapid thermo-responsive shape-memory effects are promising candidates for a vast range of applications, especially selective membranes and sensors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016. Vol. 8, 14730-14745 p.
Keyword [en]
graphene oxide, macro-initiator, ARGET ATRP, shape memory, isotropic, nematic, well-dispersed, orientation, matrix-free
National Category
Polymer Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193102DOI: 10.1039/C6NR01502FISI: 000381442500006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84981501478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-193102DiVA: diva2:975170
Funder
SweGRIDS - Swedish Centre for Smart Grids and Energy StorageEU, European Research Council
Note

QC 20160929

Available from: 2016-09-28 Created: 2016-09-28 Last updated: 2017-05-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Controlled Polymer Grafting from Nanoparticles for the Design of Dielectric Nanocomposites
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Controlled Polymer Grafting from Nanoparticles for the Design of Dielectric Nanocomposites
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The interest for polymeric nanocomposites has rapidly grown during the last decades, fuelled by the great potential and superior properties of nanoparticles (NPs). The production volumes of commercial NPs have increased exponentially during the last ten years, and the quality has been significantly improved. The aim of this study was to design polymer grafted commercially available metal-oxide NPs, and graphene oxide (GO), to develop isotropic (homogeneous) and anisotropic (heterogeneous) polymer nanocomposites for dielectric applications. The motivation was to formulate functional insulation materials for compact components in future power-grid systems using high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) or high-voltage alternating-current (HVAC), and to fabricate responsive sensor materials for monitoring e.g. temperature and voltage fluctuations in so called “Smart Grids”.

Aluminium oxide (Al2O3), zinc oxide (ZnO) and reduced GO (rGO) NPs were modified with sparse polymer grafts via a controlled “covalent route” and were mixed with silicone (PDMS) or polyethylene matrices (EBA and LDPE) commonly used in HV-cable systems. The graft length and the graft-to-matrix compatibility were tailored to obtain nanocomposites with various self-assembled NP-morphologies, including well-dispersed, connected and phase-separated structures. The graft length was used to adjust the inter-particle distance of nanocomposites with continuous morphologies or connected (percolated) NPs. It was found that nanocomposites with percolated NPs and short inter-particle distances exhibited 10-100 times higher conductivity than the unfilled (neat) polymer, or displayed a rapid non-linear increase in conductivity (~1 million times) with increasingelectric field, while well-dispersed NPs with long inter-particle distances exhibited 10-100 times lower conductivity (i.e. higher resistivity) as an effect of their trapping of charge carriers. These tunable and functional properties are desirable for HV-insulation, field-grading applications, and flexible electronics.

In addition it was shown that GO modified with dense polymer grafts via a “physisorption route” formed suspensions with liquid crystals, or matrix-free GO-composites with well-dispersed GO in isotropic or nematic states. These materials were reinforced by the GO, and exhibited elevated glass transition temperatures and a rapid thermo-responsive shape-memory effect, and are thus proposed to have a great potential as sensor materials and responsive separation membranes.

Abstract [sv]

Intresset för polymera nanokompositer har snabbt ökat under de senaste decennierna, drivet av den stora potentialen och de överlägsna egenskaperna hos nanopartiklar (NPs). Produktionsvolymerna för kommersiella NP har ökat exponentiellt under de senaste tio åren, och kvaliteten har förbättrats avsevärt. Syftet med denna studie var att polymer-ympa kommersiellt tillgängliga metalloxid-NPs, och grafenoxid (GO), för att designa isotropa (homogena) och anisotropa (heterogena) polymera nanokompositer för dielektriska tillämpningar. Motiveringen var att formulera funktionella isoleringsmaterial för kompakta komponenter i framtida kraftnätssystem som använder högspänd likström (HVDC) eller högspänd växelström (HVAC), samt att tillverka responsiva sensormaterial för övervakning av t.ex. temperatur- and spänningsvariationer i så kallade "Smart Grids".

Aluminiumoxid (Al2O3), zinkoxid (ZnO) och reducerad GO (rGO) NPs modifierades med glesa polymerympar via en kontrollerad "kovalent väg" och blandades med silikon (PDMS) eller polyeten matriser (EBA och LDPE) som är vanliga i HV-kabelsystem. Ymplängden och ymp-till-matrix kompatibiliteten skräddarsyddes för att erhålla nanokompositer med olika självordnande NP-morfologier, inklusive väldispergerade, länkade och fasseparerade strukturer. Ymplängden användes för att justera partikelavståndet i nanokompositer med förbundna morfologier eller länkade NPs. Man fann att nanokompositer med länkade NPs och korta interpartikelavstånd uppvisade 10-100 gånger högre konduktivitet än den ofyllda (rena) polymeren, eller erhöll en snabb icke-linjär ökning i konduktivitet (~1 miljon gånger) med ökande elektriskt fält, medan väldispergerade NPs med långa interpartikelavstånd uppvisade 10-100 gånger lägre ledningsförmåga (dvs. högre resistivitet) som en effekt av deras infångande av laddningsbärare. Dessa inställbara och funktionella egenskaper är önskvärda för HV-isolering, fältstyrande applikationer och flexibel elektronik.

Dessutom visades att GO, som modifierats med täta polymerympar via en "fysisorptionsväg", bildade suspensioner med flytande kristaller, eller matrisfria GO-kompositer med väldispergerad GO i isotropa eller nematiska tillstånd. Dessa material armerades av GO och uppvisade förhöjda glastransitionstemperaturer och en snabb värmeresponsiv form-minneseffekt, och föreslås därigenom ha en stor potential som sensor-material och responsiva separationsmembran.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 96 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2017:16
National Category
Polymer Chemistry
Research subject
Fibre and Polymer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-204036 (URN)
Public defence
2017-04-28, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH-huset, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
SweGRIDS - Swedish Centre for Smart Grids and Energy Storage
Note

QC 20170323

Available from: 2017-03-23 Created: 2017-03-23 Last updated: 2017-08-10Bibliographically approved

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