skip to main content


Title: The role of nanoparticle rigidity on the diffusion of linear polystyrene in a polymer nanocomposite

The impact of the inclusion of a nanoparticle in a polymer matrix on the dynamics of the polymer chains is an area of recent interest. In this article, we describe the role of nanoparticle rigidity or softness on the impact of the presence of that nanoparticle on the diffusive behavior of linear polymer chains. The neutron reflectivity results clearly show that the inclusion of 10 nm soft nanoparticles in a polymer matrix (R g ~ 20 nm) increases the diffusion coefficient of the linear polymer chain. Surprisingly, thermal analysis shows that these nanocomposites exhibit an increase in their glass transition temperature, which is incommensurate with an increase in free volume. Therefore, it appears that this effect is more complex than a simple plasticizing effect. Results from small-angle neutron scattering of the nanoparticles in solution show a structure that consists of a gel like core with a corona of free chain ends and loops. Furthermore, the increase in linear polymer diffusion may be related to an increase in constraint release mechanisms in the reptation of the polymer chain, in a similar manner to that which has been reported for the diffusion of linear polymer chains in the presence of star polymers.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 48; Journal Issue: 22; Journal ID: ISSN 0024-9297
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: