Thermodynamics of TMPC/PSd/Fullerene Nanocomposites: SANS Study

Abstract
Wereport a small angle neutron scattering study of the thermodynamics of a polymer mixture in the presence of nanoparticles, both in equilibrium and during phase separation. Neutron cloud point measurements and random phase approximation (RPA) analysis demonstrate that 1-2 mass % of C60 fullerenes destabilizes a highly interacting mixture of poly(tetramethyl bisphenol A polycarbonate) and deuterated polystyrene (TMPC/PSd). We unequivocally corroborate these findings with time-resolved temperature jump experiments that, in identical conditions, result in phase separation for the nanocomposite and stability for the neat polymer mixture. At lower C 60 loadings (viz. 0.2-0.5 mass %), stabilization of the mixture is observed. The nonmonotonic variation of the spinodal temperature with fullerene addition suggests a competitive interplay of asymmetric component interactions and nanoparticle dispersion. The stability line shift depends critically on particle dispersion and vanishes upon nanoparticle agglomeration. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Citation
Chua Y-C, Chan A, Wong H-C, Higgins JS, Cabral JT (2010) Thermodynamics of TMPC/PSd/Fullerene Nanocomposites: SANS Study. Macromolecules 43: 9578–9582. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma1018796.

Acknowledgements
The authors thank the Laboratoire Leon Brillouin (Saclay, France) and Institute Laue Langevin (ILL) for beamtime as well as Jose Teixeira (PAXE) Peter Lindner (ILL) and Ralf Schweins (ILL) for assistance and many useful discussions Funding from EPSRC and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is gratefully acknowledged Y C C thanks Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore for a postdoctoral fellowship

Publisher
American Chemical Society (ACS)

Journal
Macromolecules

DOI
10.1021/ma1018796

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