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Polymers 2017, 9(2), 73;

Polymer Conformation under Confinement

Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas, P.O. Box 1527, 711 10 Heraklion Crete, Greece
Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas, P.O. Box 1414, 265 04 Patras, Greece
Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, P.O. Box 2208, 710 03 Heraklion Crete, Greece
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Joannis K. Kallitsis, Georgios Bokias, Valadoula Deimede and Alexander Böker
Received: 8 January 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Polymeric Materials)
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The conformation of polymer chains under confinement is investigated in intercalated polymer/layered silicate nanocomposites. Hydrophilic poly(ethylene oxide)/sodium montmorillonite, PEO/Na+-MMT, hybrids were prepared utilizing melt intercalation with compositions where the polymer chains are mostly within the ~1 nm galleries of the inorganic material. The polymer chains are completely amorphous in all compositions even at temperatures where the bulk polymer is highly crystalline. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) is utilized to investigate the conformation of the polymer chains over a broad range of temperatures from below to much higher than the bulk polymer melting temperature. A systematic increase of the gauche conformation relatively to the trans is found with decreasing polymer content both for the C–C and the C–O bonds that exist along the PEO backbone indicating that the severe confinement and the proximity to the inorganic surfaces results in a more disordered state of the polymer. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer nanocomposites; layered silicates; intercalation; confinement; chain conformation polymer nanocomposites; layered silicates; intercalation; confinement; chain conformation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bollas, S.; Chrissopoulou, K.; Andrikopoulos, K.S.; Voyiatzis, G.A.; Anastasiadis, S.H. Polymer Conformation under Confinement. Polymers 2017, 9, 73.

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