Glass transition and polymer dynamics in silver/poly(methyl methacrylate) nanocomposites

Autores UPV


Dynamic mechanical-thermal analysis (DMTA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermally stimulated depolarization currents (TSDC) and, mainly, broadband dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (DRS) were employed to investigate in detail glass transition and polymer dynamics in silver/poly(methyl methacrylate) (Ag/PMMA) nanocomposites. The nanocomposites were prepared by radical polymerization of MMA in the presence of surface modified Ag nanoparticles with a mean diameter of 5.6 nm dispersed in chloroform. The fraction of Ag nanoparticles in the final materials was varied between 0 and 0.5 wt%, the latter corresponding to 0.055 vol%. The results show that the nanoparticles have practically no effect on the time scale of the secondary ß and ¿ relaxations, whereas the magnitude of both increases slightly but systematically with increasing filler content. The segmental ¿ relaxation, associated with the glass transition, becomes systematically faster and stronger in the nanocomposites. The glass transition temperature T g decreases with increasing filler content of the nanocomposites up to about 10 °C, in good correlation by the four techniques employed. Finally, the elastic modulus decreases slightly but systematically in the nanocomposites, both in the glassy and in the rubbery state. The results are explained in terms of plasticization of the PMMA matrix, due to constraints imposed to packing of the chains by the Ag nanoparticles, and at the same time, of the absence of strong polymer-filler interactions, due to the surface modification of the Ag nanoparticles by oleylamine at the stage of preparation. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.