(708a) Using Crystallization to Control Filler Dispersion in Polymer Nanocomposites

Kumar, S. K., Columbia University
The goals of this work are to: 1) hierarchically organize spherical nanoparticles (NPs) into unique morphologies by controlling the ratio of filler diffusivity / matrix crystallization rate, and 2) organize NPs in the matrix melt as a mechanism to control the crystalline morphology of the semicrystalline matrix. We tailor the filler / matrix compatibility using surface ligands with carefully controlled graft density and molecular weight. This will allow us to answer key fundamental questions about crystallization and filler organization in nanocomposites, and to optimize the mechanical and dielectric properties of these engineering polymers.