skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1905912

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. We show that the polymer-grafted nanoparticles (NPs) initially welldispersed in a polymer matrix segregate to the free surface of a film upon thermal annealing in the one-phase region of the phase diagram because the grafted polymer has a lower surface energy than the matrix polymer. Using a combination of atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, the evolution of the poly(methyl methacrylate)-grafted silica NP (PMMA NP) surface excess in 25/75 wt % PMMA NP/poly(styrene-ranacrylonitrile) films is observed as a function of annealing time at 150 °C (T < TLCST). The temporal growth of the surface excess is interpreted as a competition between entropic contributions, surface energy differences of the constituents, and the Flory−Huggins interaction parameter, χ. For the first time in a miscible polymer nanocomposite mixture, quantitative comparisons of NP surface segregation are made with the predictions of theory derived for analogous polymer blends. These studies provide insight for designing polymer nanocomposite films with advantageous surface properties such as wettability and hardness and motivate the need for developing rigorous models that capture complex polymer nanocomposite phase behaviors.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 26, 2023
  4. The effect of static silica particles on the dynamics of quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles grafted with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) brush in hydrogel nanocomposites is investigated using single particle tracking (SPT). At a low volume fraction of homogeneously dispersed silica ( Φ = 0.005), two distinct populations of PEG-QDs are observed, localized and mobile, whereas almost all PEG-QDs are mobile in neat hydrogel ( Φ = 0.0). Increasing the silica particle concentration ( Φ = 0.01, 0.1) results in an apparent change in the network structure, confounding the impact of silica on PEG-QD dynamics. The localized behavior of PEG-QDs is attributed to pH-mediated attraction between the PEG brush on the probe and surface silanol groups of silica. Using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), the extent of this interaction is investigated as a function of pH. At pH 5.8, the PEG brush on the probe can hydrogen bond with the silanol groups on silica, leading to adsorption of PEG-QDs. In contrast, at pH 9.2, silanol groups are deprotonated and PEG-QD is unable to hydrogen bond with silica leading to negligible adsorption. To test the effect of pH, PEG-QD dynamics are further investigated in hydrogel nanocomposites at Φ = 0.005. SPTmore »agrees with the QCM-D results; at pH 5.8, PEG-QDs are localized whereas at pH 9.2 the PEG-QDs are mobile. This study provides insight into controlling probe transport through hydrogel nanocomposites using pH-mediated interactions, with implications for tuning transport of nanoparticles underlying drug delivery and nanofiltration.« less
  5. The self-assembly of gold nanorods (AuNRs) of different sizes with a block copolymer (BCP) is studied. Polystyrene- block -poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS- b -P2VP) films containing P2VP functionalized AuNRs are solvent annealed resulting in a BCP morphology of vertical P2VP cylinders in a PS matrix. At the surface of the PS- b -P2VP films long AuNRs are found in the bridging and vertical states. The bridging state is where the long axis of the AuNR is parallel to the film surface, the AuNR is embedded in the film, and each end of the AuNR is at the top of nearest neighbor P2VP cylinders. The vertical state is where the AuNR is localized within a vertical P2VP cylinder, the AuNR long axis is perpendicular to the film surface and the upper tip of the AuNR is at the film surface. Short AuNRs were found in the bridging and vertical states as well as in a state not observed for the long AuNRs, the centered state. The centered state is where an AuNR has its long axis parallel to the film surface, is embedded in the film, and is centered over a vertical P2VP cylinder. Hybrid particle-field theory (HPFT) simulations modeling the experimental systemmore »predict that for the long AuNRs only the bridging state should be observed while for the short AuNRs only the bridging and centered states should be observed. Possible explanations for why the vertical state is observed in experiments despite being thermodynamically unfavorable in simulations are discussed. HPFT simulations also show that when a nanorod is in the bridging state the two cylinders it bridges remain intact and extend from the nanorod to the substrate. Further, the minority block of the BCP is shown to wet the bottom of the bridging nanorod. The bridging state is very promising for the future development of self-assembled nanoscale devices.« less