Mechanical properties of thin glassy polymer films filled with spherical polymer-grafted nanoparticles.


Journal Article

It is commonly accepted that the addition of spherical nanoparticles (NPs) cannot simultaneously improve the elastic modulus, the yield stress, and the ductility of an amorphous glassy polymer matrix. In contrast to this conventional wisdom, we show that ductility can be substantially increased, while maintaining gains in the elastic modulus and yield stress, in glassy nanocomposite films composed of spherical silica NPs grafted with polystyrene (PS) chains in a PS matrix. The key to these improvements are (i) uniform NP spatial dispersion and (ii) strong interfacial binding between NPs and the matrix, by making the grafted chains sufficiently long relative to the matrix. Strikingly, the optimal conditions for the mechanical reinforcement of the same nanocomposite material in the melt state is completely different, requiring the presence of spatially extended NP clusters. Evidently, NP spatial dispersions that optimize material properties are crucially sensitive to the state (melt versus glass) of the polymeric material.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Maillard, D; Kumar, SK; Fragneaud, B; Kysar, JW; Rungta, A; Benicewicz, BC; Deng, H; Brinson, LC; Douglas, JF

Published Date

  • August 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 3909 - 3914

PubMed ID

  • 22817546

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22817546

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-6992

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1530-6992

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/nl301792g


  • eng