(734h) Hierarchical Assembly of Mixed Nanofillers through Crystallization Induced Ordering
Controllably tuning the crystallization rate of polymers through isothermal processing provides a technique for hierarchically assembling nanofillers within the semicrystalline matrix. While PMMA grafted silica fillers in a PEO matrix have been shown to further enhance the mechanical properties through this ordering, the particlesâ inherent effect on the crystallization process leads to significantly longer processing times and lower degrees of crystallinity. To combat this, a bimodal approach of fillers is used in an attempt to simultaneously increase the rate of crystallization, while allowing smaller fillers to continue to organize. This provides the simultaneous benefit of adding another level to the hierarchically ordered system. By tuning the relative size/interaction of either particle or aggregate one can optimize this kinetic effect on crystallization while benefiting from the structural reinforcement of the secondary filler.