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Synthesis of polystyrene-grafted carbon nanocapsules

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2011

Hsuan-Ming Huang
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China
Hung-Chieh Tsai
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China
I-Chun Liu
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China
Raymond Chien-Chao Tsiang
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China
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Abstract

A novel polymeric composite material, polystyrene (PS)-grafted carbon nanocapsules (CNCs), has been prepared. sec-butyllithium was first used to introduce negative charges on CNCs, and these CNC carbanions acted then as initiators for anionic polymerization of styrene. Based on a weight loss at the decomposition temperature of the butyl groups, the quantity of the butyls attached to the CNC surface was determined as 1.18 wt%, corresponding to 0.25 mol% initiator per mol of carbon atom on the CNC surface. Furthermore, the decomposition temperature of butylated CNCs was lower than that of the pristine CNCs by nearly 200 °C. The polystyrene content in our PS-grafted CNC sample was approximately 20%, and the molecular weight of the grafted PS on the surface of CNCs was calculated as 1200 gmol−1. Compared with the molecular weight of the ungrafted PS, the molecular weight of grafted PS was lower, thus indicating rates of initiation and/or propagation for CNC-bound carbanions lower than those of the free sec-butyllithium. The PS-grafted CNCs had good dispersion in toluene, tetrahydrofuran, cyclohexane, and other common organic solvents in which polystyrene was dissolvable and thus indicated good compatibility when further blended with other styrenic polymers. The PS-grafted CNCs were characterized and examined by Fourier transform infrared, thermogravimetric analysis, atomic force microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The electron microscopy images indicated that the PS-grafted CNCs were homogeneous composites containing uniform polymer/CNC ratios.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2007

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