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Nanoscale Particle Motion Reveals Polymer Mobility Gradient in Nanocomposites

Cite this: ACS Macro Lett. 2019, 8, 5, 558–562
Publication Date (Web):May 1, 2019
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Polymer mobility near nanoparticle surfaces has been extensively discussed; however, direct experimental observation in the nanocomposite melts has been a difficult task. Here, by taking advantage of large dynamical asymmetry between the miscible matrix and surface-bound polymers, we highlighted their interphases and studied the resulting effect on the nanoparticle relaxation using X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy. The local mobility gradient is signified by an unprecedented increase in the relaxation time at length scales on the order of polymer radius of gyration. The effect is accompanied by a transition from simple diffusive to subdiffusive behavior in accord with viscous and entangled dynamics of polymers in the matrix and in the interphase, respectively. Our results demonstrate that the nanoparticle-induced polymer mobility changes in the interphases of nanocomposite melts can be extracted from the length-scale-dependent slow particle motion.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.9b00176.

    • SANS intensity profiles and representative correlation plots (PDF)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 18 publications.

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