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Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Silica Nanocomposites: Morphology and Thermal Degradation Kinetics

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The morphology of self-assembled poly(vinyl alcohol)/silica (PVA/SiO2) nanocomposites is investigated with atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It is found that the SiO2 nanoparticles are homogenously distributed throughout the PVA matrix in a form of spherical nano-cluster. The average size of the SiO2 clusters is below 50 nm at the low contents (SiO2 ≤ 5 wt%), while particle aggregations are clearly observed and their average size markedly increases to 110 nm when 10 wt% SiO2 is loaded. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) shows that the nanocomposite significantly outperforms the pure PVA in the thermal resistance. By using a multi-heating-rate method, the thermal degradation kinetics of the nanocomposite with a SiO2 content of 5 wt% is compared to the PVA host. The reaction activation energy (E) of the nanocomposite, similar to the pure PVA, is divided into two main stages corresponding to two degradation steps. However, at a given degradation temperature, the nanocomposite presents much lower reaction velocity constants (k), while its E is 20 kJ/mol higher than that of the PVA host.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-12-01

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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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