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Multifuctional polymeric materials though nanostructuring

Final Activity Report Summary - MULTIFUNCTNANOPOLYM (Multifuctional polymeric materials though nanostructuring)

We have developed a novel, simple and versatile experimental setup aimed to perform Wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) measurements alone or in simultaneous combination with Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements. The design of the WAXS goniometer allows one to obtain high resolution diffraction patterns in a broad angular range. The setup can incorporate a hot stage in order to evaluate temperature resolved experiments. The performance of the equipment has been verified in the BM16 beam line of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) with different well known samples.

We have participated actively in the proposal of a beam line on non crystalline diffraction for life and material sciences with modular microfocus on ALBA, beam line proposed and accepted for its construction in the Spanish synchrotron (ALBA).

In order to achieve low percolation thresholds in Single wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) and thermoplastic Poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT) nanocomposites we have used an in situ polycondensation reaction process. The intense dispersion process achieved first by ultrasonication and followed by ultrahigh speed stirring of single wall nanotubes in 1,4- butanediol and the subsequent in situ polycondensation has made possible the preparation of nanocomposites in which the percolation threshold is around 0.2 wt% of SWCNT. This relatively low value approaches those reported for carbon nanotube nanocomposites based on thermoset polymers. On the basis of the structural measurements, we interpret that agglomeration effects may enhance the formation of the conducting network.

We have reported the appearance of a novel self-assembling of a fraction of SWCNT within a SWCNT-polymer nanocomposite subjected to flow fields upon injection moulding processing. By combining X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy techniques, both working on a microfocus fashion, we probe that a fraction of the thinnest SWCNT self-assembles into a rectangular lattice in the sample regions where the shear stress induces the highest levels of nanotube aggregation. Additionally, we demonstrate that a modest amount in weight of nanotubes is enough to template the morphology of crystallisation during flow providing a method to obtain a highly desirable fibre-like morphology.