The thermomechanical behavior of polymer nanocomposites is mostly governed by interfacial properties which rely on particle–polymer interactions, particle loading, and dispersion state. We recently showed that poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) adsorbed nanoparticles in poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) matrices displayed an unusual thermal stiffening response. The molecular origin of this unique stiffening behavior resulted from the enhanced PEO mobility within glassy PMMA chains adsorbed on nanoparticles. In addition, dynamic asymmetry and chemical heterogeneities existing in the interfacial layers around particles were shown to improve the reinforcement of composites as a result of good interchain mixing. Here, the role of chain rigidity in this interfacially controlled reinforcement in PEO composites is investigated. We show that particles adsorbed with less rigid polymers improve the mechanical properties of composites. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys.
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- Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics
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- p. 9-14
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
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- National Science Foundation
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