4 years ago

Manipulating Semicrystalline Polymers in Confinement

Manipulating Semicrystalline Polymers in Confinement
Hans-Werner Schmidt, Thomas Thurn-Albrecht, Markus Geuss, Martin Steinhart, Jaime Martín, Nitin Shingne, Carmen Mijangos
Because final properties of nanoscale polymeric structures are largely determined by the solid-state microstructure of the confined polymer, it is imperative not only to understand how the microstructure of polymers develops under nanoscale confinement but also to establish means to manipulate it. Here we present a series of processing strategies, adapted from methods used in bulk polymer processing, that allow us to control the solidification of polymer nanostructures. First, we show that supramolecular nucleating agents can be readily used to modify the crystallization kinetics of confined poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF). In addition, we demonstrate that microstructural features that are not traditionally affected by nucleating agents, such as the orientation of crystals, can be tuned with the crystallization temperature applied. Interestingly, we also show that high crystallization temperatures and long annealing periods induce the formation of the γ modification of PVDF, hence enabling the simple production of ferro/piezoelectric nanostructures. We anticipate that the approaches presented here can open up a plethora of new possibilities for the processing of polymer-based nanostructures with tailored properties and functionalities.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b05424

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b05424

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