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Investigation of Polymer Dendritic Growth in Composite Material using Contact Resonance Method

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2015

Ravi Gaikwad
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical and Materials Engg, University of Alberta, Edmonton
Xunchen Liu
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical and Materials Engg, University of Alberta, Edmonton
Priyesh Dhandharia
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical and Materials Engg, University of Alberta, Edmonton
Thomas Thundat
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical and Materials Engg, University of Alberta, Edmonton
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Abstract

A special class of polymer called dendrons which are repeatedly branched polymers linked together by a network of cascade branched monomers. A composite of these dendritic polymers with linear polymers may have unique physical and chemical properties. Using contact resonance mode of atomic force microscopy we are able to detect the viscoelastic properties of the dendritic formation of the polyethylene oxide (PEO) mixed with Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). PEO is known to form nanometric crystallites due to the diffusion limited aggregation process. However, the dendritic formation in the mixture has not been reported before. The amplitude and phase of the contact resonance shows a clear dendritic growth of PEO in the composite material. The extent of the polymer crystallization can be several nanometers thick within the composite material. Additionally, the intrinsic properties of such polymers to form denrimers can be explored for fabricating polymer composites having numerous potential applications in chemical sensing, drug-delivery, energy applications and many more.

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Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2015 

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