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Microemulsion Processing of Silica-Polymer Nanocomposites

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Silica-polymer nanocomposites have been synthesized via polymerizable bicontinuous microemulsions to disperse functionalized/nonfunctionalized SiO2 nanoparticles uniformly in a polymerized microemulsion system as revealed by transmission electron microscopy. The effect of both types of SiO2 nanoparticles in the polymerized microemulsion increased its glass transition temperature (Tg) from 90 to 128 °C. Tgs of functionalized silica nanocomposites were about 15 °C higher than those of nonfunctionalized samples. As expected, both hardness and modulus of the nanocomposites increased with the loading of both types of silica from 2 to 6 wt%. In the case of nonfunctionalized silica, the improvement of properties may be simply exerted by the conventional filler effect due to the better dispersion of nanoparticles of silica in fluid microemulsion prior to the polymerization. The additional effect for the functionalized silica containing a terminal vinyl group is that it could be grafted to the polymer matrix through cross-polymerization with microemulsion-formed polymer to establish strong nanocomposite networks.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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