Advances in Hybrid Polymers

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 9311

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros ICTP-CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Interests: hydrogels; controlled release systems; NMR; diffusion; hydrogen bonds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, the use of hybrid polymers is growing for most technological and biomedical applications due to several reasons associated with the improvement of specific properties and new functionalities. This means that the properties of a regular polymer can be adapted and tuned depending on the final requirements, as well as its stability in terms of recyclability or degradability, to reduce its environmental impact.

There are many possibilities, advances, and ideas that could be useful for a new generation of materials for advanced applications. In this sense, we prepared this Special Issue, which is open to any advances in hybrid polymers and/or composites.

This Special Issue is waiting for research papers and reviews that involve:

  • Materials with a hybrid structure and a polymeric component.
  • Characterization and properties of composites.
  • Characterization and properties of hybrid nanoparticles.
  • Functionalized polymers and derivatives.
  • New synthetic protocols for polymer–inorganic hybrid nanostructures.
  • Applicability of new complex materials.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think that your manuscript suits this Special Issue.

Dr. Alberto García-Peñas
Dr. Isabel Quijada-Garrido
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2700 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

  • hybrid materials
  • composites
  • functionalized polymers
  • hybrid nanomaterials

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 5987 KiB  
Article
Exploring Functional Polymers in the Synthesis of Luminescent ZnO Quantum Dots for the Detection of Cr6+, Fe2+, and Cu2+
by Leire San José, Nastasiya Yuriychuk, Olga García, Mar López-González and Isabel Quijada-Garrido
Polymers 2024, 16(3), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16030429 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1134
Abstract
The main aim of this work is to demonstrate that well-defined methacrylate-based copolymers with oligoethylene glycol side chains and functional groups such as thiol and glycidyl, obtained by photo-initiated reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) in ethanol, are highly suitable as templates in the [...] Read more.
The main aim of this work is to demonstrate that well-defined methacrylate-based copolymers with oligoethylene glycol side chains and functional groups such as thiol and glycidyl, obtained by photo-initiated reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) in ethanol, are highly suitable as templates in the synthesis and protection of ZnO quantum dots (ZnO QDs) with remarkable photoluminescent properties. While the affinity of thiol groups to metallic surfaces is well established, their interaction with metal oxides has received less scrutiny. Furthermore, under basic conditions, glycidyl groups could react with hydroxyl groups on the surface of ZnO, representing another strategy for hybrid synthesis. The size and crystalline morphology of the resulting hybrids were assessed using DLS, TEM, and XRD, indicating that both polymers, even with a low proportion of functional groups (5% mol) are appropriate as templates and ligands for ZnO QDs synthesis. Notably, thiol-containing polymers yield hybrids with ZnO featuring excellent quantum yield (up to 52%), while polymers with glycidyl groups require combination with the organosilane aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES) to achieve optimal results. In both cases, these hybrids exhibited robust stability in both ethanol and aqueous environments. Beyond fundamental research, due to the remarkable photoluminescent properties and affordability, these hybrid ZnO QDs are expected to have potential applications in biotechnology and green science; in particular, in this study, we examined their use in the detection of environmental contaminants like Fe2+, Cr6+, and Cu2+. Specifically, the limit of detection achieved at 1.13 µM for the highly toxic Cr6+ underscores the significant sensing capabilities of the hybrids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hybrid Polymers)
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20 pages, 3340 KiB  
Article
Antimicrobial Activity and Crystallization Features in Bio-Based Composites of PLLA and MCM-41 Particles Either Pristine or Functionalized with Confined Ag Nanowires
by Tamara M. Díez-Rodríguez, Enrique Blázquez-Blázquez, Marta Fernández-García, Alexandra Muñoz-Bonilla, Ernesto Pérez and María L. Cerrada
Polymers 2023, 15(9), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15092084 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1324
Abstract
Composites based on an L-rich poly(lactic acid) (PLLA) and MCM-41, either neat or modified with a silver (MCM-41@Ag), are achieved by solvent casting, being next processed by compression molding. Ag is mainly embedded as nanowires within the hybrid MCM-41@Ag particles, enabling its [...] Read more.
Composites based on an L-rich poly(lactic acid) (PLLA) and MCM-41, either neat or modified with a silver (MCM-41@Ag), are achieved by solvent casting, being next processed by compression molding. Ag is mainly embedded as nanowires within the hybrid MCM-41@Ag particles, enabling its antimicrobial character. In these composites, the PLLA thermal stability, nucleation efficiency, and mechanical response are dependent on the MCM-41 nature and, to a lesser extent, on its content. Thus, differences in transitions of the PLLA matrix are noticed during cooling at 10 °C/min and in the subsequent heating when composites with neat or modified MCM-41 are compared. A very remarkable nucleation effect is played by pristine MCM-41, being inferior when MCM-41@Ag is incorporated into the PLLA. Wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) measurements using synchrotron radiation and performed under variable-temperature conditions in the composites containing MCM-41@Ag indicate that during cold crystallization, the disordered α′ polymorph is initially formed, but it rapidly transforms into ordered α crystals. A long spacing peak, clearly seen in pure PLLA, appears as a small shoulder in PLLAMCM@Ag4 and is undetectable in PLLAMCM@Ag9 and PLLAMCM@Ag20. Furthermore, an increase in MH with the silica content is found in the two sets of composites, the higher MH values being observed in the family of PLLA and MCM-41@Ag. Finally, remarkable antimicrobial features are noticeable in the composites with MCM-41@Ag since this modified silica transfers its biocidal characteristics into the PLLA composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hybrid Polymers)
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17 pages, 3574 KiB  
Article
Using Metal-Organic Framework HKUST-1 for the Preparation of High-Conductive Hybrid Membranes Based on Multiblock Copolymers for Fuel Cells
by Ivan Gorban, Nieves Ureña, María Teresa Pérez-Prior, Alejandro Várez, Belén Levenfeld, Carmen del Río and Mikhail Soldatov
Polymers 2023, 15(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15020323 - 8 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2535
Abstract
Novel proton-conducting hybrid membranes consisting of sulfonated multiblock copolymer of polysulfone and polyphenylsulfone (SPES) reinforced with a HKUST-1 metal-organic framework (MOF) (5, 10, and 20 wt. %) were prepared and characterized for fuel cell applications. The presence of the MOF in the copolymer [...] Read more.
Novel proton-conducting hybrid membranes consisting of sulfonated multiblock copolymer of polysulfone and polyphenylsulfone (SPES) reinforced with a HKUST-1 metal-organic framework (MOF) (5, 10, and 20 wt. %) were prepared and characterized for fuel cell applications. The presence of the MOF in the copolymer was confirmed by means of FE-SEM and EDS. The hybrid membranes show a lower contact angle value than the pure SPES, in agreement with the water uptake (WU%), i.e., by adding 5 wt. % of the MOF, this parameter increases by 20% and 40% at 30 °C and 60 °C, respectively. Additionally, the presence of the MOF increases the ion exchange capacity (IEC) from 1.62 to 1.93 mequivH+ g−1. Thermogravimetric analysis reveals that the hybrid membranes demonstrate high thermal stability in the fuel cell operation temperature range (<100 °C). The addition of the MOF maintains the mechanical stability of the membranes (TS > 85 MPa in the Na+ form). Proton conductivity was analyzed using EIS, achieving the highest value with a 5 wt. % load of the HKUST-1. This value is lower than that observed for the HKUST-1/Nafion system. However, polarization and power density curves show a remarkably better performance of the hybrid membranes in comparison to both the pure SPES and the pure Nafion membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hybrid Polymers)
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10 pages, 4224 KiB  
Article
l-Arginine as Bio-Based Curing Agent for Epoxy Resins: Temperature-Dependence of Mechanical Properties
by Florian Rothenhäusler and Holger Ruckdaeschel
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4696; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214696 - 3 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1888
Abstract
The precise characterization of new bio-based thermosets is imperative for the correct assessment of their potential as matrix material in fiber-reinforced polymer composites. Therefore, the mechanical properties of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol a (DGEBA) cured with l-arginine were investigated to determine whether [...] Read more.
The precise characterization of new bio-based thermosets is imperative for the correct assessment of their potential as matrix material in fiber-reinforced polymer composites. Therefore, the mechanical properties of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol a (DGEBA) cured with l-arginine were investigated to determine whether the bio-based thermoset possesses the required mechanical properties for application as a matrix material. The cured thermoset is called Argopox. The mixture of amino acid and epoxy resin was prepared via three-roll milling and cured in the presence of an urea-based accelerator. The tensile, compression, flexural and toughness properties of Argopox were characterized at T=40 C, 22 C and 80 C to determine the temperature-dependence of the thermoset’s mechanical properties in its service temperature range. The glass transition temperature Tg was analyzed via dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and is approximately 119 C. The tensile, compression and flexural strength at 22 C are about 56 MPa, 98 MPa and 85 MPa, respectively. The critical stress intensity factor KIC and fracture energy GIC at 22 C are roughly 1.1 MPam0.5 and 510 Jm, respectively. Consequently, Argopox possesses mechanical properties that reach performance levels similar to that of materials which are already used as matrix for fiber reinforced composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hybrid Polymers)
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Review

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19 pages, 6656 KiB  
Review
Can Novel Synthetic Disperse Dyes for Polyester Fabric Dyeing Provide Added Value?
by Alya M. Al-Etaibi and Morsy Ahmed El-Apasery
Polymers 2023, 15(8), 1845; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15081845 - 11 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
In this review, we present preparation methods for a series of new disperse dyes that we have synthesized over the past thirteen years in an environmentally safe and economical way using innovative methods, conventional methods, or using microwave technology as a safe and [...] Read more.
In this review, we present preparation methods for a series of new disperse dyes that we have synthesized over the past thirteen years in an environmentally safe and economical way using innovative methods, conventional methods, or using microwave technology as a safe and uniform method of heating. The results showed that in many of the synthetic reactions we carried out, the use of the microwave strategy provides us with the product in minutes and with higher productivity compared to the conventional methods. This strategy provides or may dispense with the use of harmful organic solvents. As an environmentally friendly approach, we used microwave technology in dyeing polyester fabrics at 130 degrees Celsius, and then, we also introduced ultrasound technology in dyeing polyester fabrics at 80 degrees Celsius as an alternative to dyeing methods at the boiling point of water. Here, the goal was not only to save energy, but also to obtain a color depth higher than the color depth that can be obtained by traditional dyeing methods. It is worth noting that obtaining a higher color depth and using less energy means that the amount of dye remaining in the dyeing bath is less, which facilitates the processing of dyeing baths and therefore does not cause harm to the environment. It is necessary after obtaining dyed polyester fabrics to show their fastness properties, so we explained that these dyes have high fastness properties. The next thought was to use nano-metal oxides to treat polyester fabrics in order to provide these fabrics with important properties. Therefore, we present the strategy for treating polyester fabrics with titanium dioxide nano-particles (TiO2 NPs) or zinc oxide nano-particles (ZnO NPs) in order to enhance their anti-microbial properties, increase their UV protection, increase their light fastness, and enhance their self-cleaning properties. We reviewed the biological activity of all of the newly prepared dyes and showed that most of these dyes possess strong biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hybrid Polymers)
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