, Volume 291, Issue 5, pp 1143-1153
Date: 14 Nov 2012

Monitoring the formation of polystyrene/silica nanocomposites from vinyl triethoxysilane containing copolymers

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Random copolymers of polystyrene-co-polyvinyl triethoxysilane (PS-co-PVTES) were prepared via semi-batch emulsion polymerization with different feed monomer compositions and evaluated as precursors of polystyrene (PS)/silica nanocomposites. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) profiles acquired from 20 °C to 180 °C showed that, at temperatures higher than glass transition temperature (T g) of PS, the latex particles aggregate. On thermal annealing at 180 °C, silica-rich domains are formed, as corroborated by scanning electron microscopy. Infrared spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry analyses showed a reduction of the silanol concentration and an increase in the T g value, respectively. The silica long domain spacing, measured by SAXS, depends on the concentration of vinyl triethoxysilane (VTES) in the feed; this value varied from 35 to 57 nm when the weight ratio of the monomers (styrene/VTES) was 50:50 and 90:10, respectively.