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Nanoparticle Brush Architecture Controls Polymer Diffusion in Nanocomposites



Jihoon Choi, Michael-Jon A Hore, Nigel Clarke, Karen I. Winey, Russell J. Composto


We show that polymer diffusion in polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) is controlled by the architecture of polymer brushes grafted to silica nanoparticles (NPs). At highly grafting density, diffusing chains having radius of gyration, Rg, are excluded from the polymer brush leading to greater confinement. However, at lower rafting density, these chains penetrate the brush and diffusion is similar to the hard NP case, compared at the same silica loading. We calculate the effective interparticle spacing (IDeff) by modeling polymer penetration into the grafted brush using self-consistent field theory. When plotted against a confinement against a confinement parameter (IDeff/2g), reduced diffusion coefficients (D/D^o^) fall on a master curve independent of brush architecture. These findings show that brush architecture provides a new route towards controlling polymer dynamics and viscoelasticity of PNCs.


polymer diffusion, self-consistent field theory, polymer nanocomposites


Choi, J. , Hore, M. , Clarke, N. , Winey, K. and Composto, R. (2014), Nanoparticle Brush Architecture Controls Polymer Diffusion in Nanocomposites, Macromolecules, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created April 7, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021