Self-Assembly of Block Copolymer Chains To Promote the Dispersion of Nanoparticles in Polymer Nanocomposites

J Liu and ZX Wang and ZY Zhang and JX Shen and YL Chen and ZJ Zheng and LQ Zhang and AV Lyulin, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 121, 9311-9318 (2017).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b08670

In this paper we adopt molecular dynamics simulations to study the atnphiphilic AB block copolymer (BCP) mediated nanoparticle (NP) dispersion in polymer nanocomposites (PNCs), with the A-block being compatible with the NPs and the B-block being miscible with the polymer matrix. The effects of the number and components of BCP, as well as the interaction strength between A-block and NPs on the spatial organization of NPs, are explored. We find that the increase of the fraction of the A-block brings different dispersion effect to NPs than that of B-block. We also find that the best dispersion state of the NPs occurs in the case of a moderate interaction strength between the A-block and the NPs. Meanwhile, the stress-strain behavior is probed. Our simulation results verify that adopting BCP is an effective way to adjust the dispersion of NPs in the polymer matrix, further to manipulate the mechanical properties.

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