Special Issue "Preparation and Application of Polymer Nanocomposites"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanocomposite Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Teresa Cuberes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Departamento de Mecánica Aplicada e Ingeniería de Proyectos, Escuela de Ingeniería Minera e Industrial, Almadén (Ciudad Real), Spain
Interests: Polymer Nanocomposites, Scanning Probe Microscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the advent of nanotechnology, the incorporation of nanofillers to a polymer matrix has prompted a breakthrough in materials development, providing polymer nanocomposites with improved mechanical, thermal, electrical, dielectric, optoelectronic and magnetic properties. Typically, the nanofillers affect the properties of the host matrix, and contribute to the composite performance with properties of their own. The structure and behavior of the interface between the nanofiller and the matrix play a most relevant role. Effort is being devoted to study the mobility of nanofillers inside a matrix, their aggregation, or their possible release to the environment.

Polymer nanocomposites have found applications as membranes in batteries and fuel cells, in biomedicine, for drug delivery, or as scaffolds for tissue regeneration, and in electrical/optoelectronic devices such as solar cells. Smart, responsive materials have been developed and used as sensors, actuators, and low-voltage energy generators for wearables.

This Special Issue is focused on the characterization of polymer nanocomposite films with special emphasis on their structure and interface properties, and their mechanical and electrical response. Research addressing the impact on the nanofiller/matrix interface of external conditions such as heat, electrical/magnetic, mechanical, or ultrasonic action is of particular interest. Contributions related to biocompatible, ecofriendly, and biodegradable polymer nanocomposites are welcome.

Prof. Teresa Cuberes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Polymer nanocomposites
  • Polymer films
  • Polymer membranes
  • Nanofillers
  • Nanoparticles
  • Carbon allotropes.
  • 2D materials
  • Nanocellulose
  • Polymer/nanofiller interface

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Nanostructural Arrangements and Surface Morphology on Ureasil-Polyether Films Loaded with Dexamethasone Acetate
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061362 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Ureasil-Poly(ethylene oxide) (u-PEO500) and ureasil-Poly(propylene oxide) (u-PPO400) films, unloaded and loaded with dexamethasone acetate (DMA), have been investigated by carrying out atomic force microscopy (AFM), ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM), contact-angle, and drug release experiments. In addition, X-ray diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering, and [...] Read more.
Ureasil-Poly(ethylene oxide) (u-PEO500) and ureasil-Poly(propylene oxide) (u-PPO400) films, unloaded and loaded with dexamethasone acetate (DMA), have been investigated by carrying out atomic force microscopy (AFM), ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM), contact-angle, and drug release experiments. In addition, X-ray diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering, and infrared spectroscopy have provided essential information to understand the films’ structural organization. Our results reveal that while in u-PEO500 DMA occupies sites near the ether oxygen and remains absent from the film surface, in u-PPO400 new crystalline phases are formed when DMA is loaded, which show up as ~30–100 nm in diameter rounded clusters aligned along a well-defined direction, presumably related to the one defined by the characteristic polymer ropes distinguished on the surface of the unloaded u-PPO film; occasionally, larger needle-shaped DMA crystals are also observed. UFM reveals that in the unloaded u-PPO matrix the polymer ropes are made up of strands, which in turn consist of aligned ~180 nm in diameter stiffer rounded clusters possibly formed by siloxane-node aggregates; the new crystalline phases may grow in-between the strands when the drug is loaded. The results illustrate the potential of AFM-based procedures, in combination with additional physico-chemical techniques, to picture the nanostructural arrangements in polymer matrices intended for drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
CuO/PMMA Polymer Nanocomposites as Novel Resist Materials for E-Beam Lithography
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030762 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Polymer nanocomposites have emerged as a new powerful class of materials because of their versatility, adaptability and wide applicability to a variety of fields. In this work, a facile and cost-effective method to develop poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based polymer nanocomposites with copper oxide (CuO) [...] Read more.
Polymer nanocomposites have emerged as a new powerful class of materials because of their versatility, adaptability and wide applicability to a variety of fields. In this work, a facile and cost-effective method to develop poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based polymer nanocomposites with copper oxide (CuO) nanofillers is presented. The study concentrates on finding an appropriate methodology to realize CuO/PMMA nanocomposites that could be used as resist materials for e-beam lithography (EBL) with the intention of being integrated into nanodevices. The CuO nanofillers were synthesized via a low-cost chemical synthesis, while several loadings, spin coating conditions and two solvents (acetone and methyl ethyl ketone) were explored and assessed with regards to their effect on producing CuO/PMMA nanocomposites. The nanocomposite films were patterned with EBL and contrast curve data and resolution analysis were used to evaluate their performance and suitability as a resist material. Micro-X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (μ-XRF) complemented with XRF measurements via a handheld instrument (hh-XRF) was additionally employed as an alternative rapid and non-destructive technique in order to investigate the uniform dispersion of the nanofillers within the polymer matrix and to assist in the selection of the optimum preparation conditions. This study revealed that it is possible to produce low-cost CuO/PMMA nanocomposites as a novel resist material without resorting to complicated preparation techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
Enhanced Storage Stability of Different Polymer Modified Asphalt Binders through Nano-Montmorillonite Modification
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040641 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
The storage stability concern, caused by phase separation for the density difference between polymers and asphalt fractions, has limited the widespread application of polymer modified asphalt (PMA). Therefore, this study aims to improve the storage concern of PMA by incorporating nano-montmorillonite. To this [...] Read more.
The storage stability concern, caused by phase separation for the density difference between polymers and asphalt fractions, has limited the widespread application of polymer modified asphalt (PMA). Therefore, this study aims to improve the storage concern of PMA by incorporating nano-montmorillonite. To this end, different nano-montmorillonites were incorporated to three PMAs modified with three typical asphalt modifiers, i.e., crumb rubber (CRM), styrene–butadiene-rubber (SBR) and styrene–butadiene-styrene (SBS). A series of laboratory tests were performed to evaluate the storage stability and rheological properties of PMA binders with nano-montmorillonite. As a consequence, the incorporation of nano-montmorillonite exhibited a remarkable effect on enhancing the storage stability of the CRM modified binder, but limited positive effects for the SBR and SBS modified binders. The layered nano-montmorillonite transformed to intercalated or exfoliated structures after interaction with asphalt fractions, providing superior storage stability. Among selected nano-montmorillonites, the pure montmorillonite with Hydroxyl organic ammonium performed the best on enhancing storage stability of PMA. This paper suggests that nano-montmorillonite is a promising modifier to alleviate the storage stability concern for asphalt with polymer modifiers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Review

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Review
Review and Mechanism of the Thickness Effect of Solid Dielectrics
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2473; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122473 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 457
Abstract
The thickness effect of solid dielectrics means the relation between the electric breakdown strength (EBD) and the dielectric thickness (d). By reviewing different types of expressions of EBD on d, it is found that the minus [...] Read more.
The thickness effect of solid dielectrics means the relation between the electric breakdown strength (EBD) and the dielectric thickness (d). By reviewing different types of expressions of EBD on d, it is found that the minus power relation (EBD = E1da) is supported by plenty of experimental results. The physical mechanism responsible for the minus power relation of the thickness effect is reviewed and improved. In addition, it is found that the physical meaning of the power exponent a is approximately the relative standard error of the EBD distributions in perspective of the Weibull distribution. In the end, the factors influencing the power exponent a are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Hybrid Membranes with Osteogenic Growth Peptide for Bone Regeneration
Authors: João Augusto Oshiro-Junior 1,2; Rafaella Moreno Barros 1; Caroline Cordeiro de Souza 3,; Camila Garcia da Silva 1; Cássio Rocha Scardueli 1,2,; Camila Chiérici Marcantonio3; Paulo Ricardo da Silva Sache
Affiliation: 1 Graduation Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of Paraíba, Campina Grande, PB, Brazil; [email protected]; [email protected] 2 Department of Drugs and Medicines, São Paulo State University (UNESP), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil; [email protected]; [email protected] 3 Faculdade de Odontologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Humaitá, 1680, Araraquara, 14801-385, SP, Brazil; [email protected]; [email protected] 4 Instituto de Química de Araraquara, Departamento de Bioquímica e tecnologia química, Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Abstract: Guided bone regeneration (GBR) technique helps to restore bone tissue through cellular selectivity principle. Currently no osteoinductive membrane exists on the market. Osteogenic growth peptide (OGP) acts as a hematopoietic stimulator. This association could improve the quality of bone formation, benefiting more than 2.2 million patients annually. The objective of this work was to develop membranes from ureasil-polyether materials containing OGP. The membranes were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). OGP was synthesized by the solid phase method. Sterilization results using gamma radiation at 24 kGy did not change the structure of the material, as confirmed by DSC. The SAXS technique revealed the structural homogeneity of the matrix. OGP was incorporated in 66.25x10-10 mol and release results showed that the ureasil-PPO400/PEO500 and ureasil-PPO400/PEO1900 membranes released 7 and 21%, respectively, after 48 hours. In vivo results show that, after 60 days, 90% bone filling in the commercial group, 73% filling in the ureasil-PPO400/PEO500 (50/50) group, and 77% filling in the ureasil-PPO400/PEO1900 (80/20) group (no statistically significant), however, the differences with control group (24% bone filling). The results allow us to conclude that membranes with OGP have characteristics that make them potential candidates for the GBR.

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