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Graphene Nanocomposites with High Molecular Weight Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Grafts: Controlled Synthesis, and Accelerated Crystallization

Published

Author(s)

Titash Mondal, Rana N. Ashkar, Paul Butler, Anil K. Bhowmick, Ramanan Krishnamoorti

Abstract

Grafting of high molecular weight polymers to graphitic nanoplatelets is a critical step toward the development of high performance graphene nanocomposites. However, designing such a grafting route has remained a major impediment. Herein, we report a ¿grafting to¿ synthetic pathway by which high molecular weight polymer, poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL), is tethered, at high grafting density, to highly anisotropic graphitic nanoplatelets. The efficacy of this tethering route and the resultant structural arrangements within the composite are confirmed by neutron and x-ray scattering measurements in the melt and solution phase. In the semi-crystalline state, X-ray analysis indicates that chain tethering onto the graphitic nanoplaletes results in conformational changes of the polymer chains that enhance the nucleation process and aid superstructure formation of PCL-crystallites. This is further corroborated by the superior thermal properties of the composite, manifested in remarkably accelerated crystallization kinetics and a significant increase in the thermal degradation temperature. In principle, this synthesis route can be extended to a variety of high molecular weight polymers, which would open wide avenues to solution-based processing of graphitic nanomaterials and the fabrication of complex 3D patterned graphitic nanocomposites.
Citation
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume
5
Issue
3

Keywords

Graphene, polymer nanocompostite, dispersion, carbon composite

Citation

Mondal, T. , Ashkar, R. , Butler, P. , Bhowmick, A. and Krishnamoorti, R. (2016), Graphene Nanocomposites with High Molecular Weight Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Grafts: Controlled Synthesis, and Accelerated Crystallization, Journal of the American Chemical Society, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=919895 (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created March 14, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021