Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy of Nanostructured Maleated Polypropylene/Polycarbonate Blends Prepared By In Situ Polymerization and Compatibilization

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


The miscibility and molecular dynamics of nanostructured maleated polypropylene (mPP)/polycarbonate (PC) blends prepared by in situ polymerization of macrocyclic carbonates with polypropylene modified with 0.5 wt% of maleic anhydride-reactive groups were investigated over a wide range of frequencies (10(-2) -0.5 x 10(7) Hz) at different constant temperatures using broadband dielectric spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). The molecular dynamics of the glass relaxation process of the blend (alpha-relaxation process) appeared at a lower temperature range compared with that of the pure PC. This shift in the molecular relaxation process is attributed to the partial miscibility of the two polymer components in the blends as previously confirmed by the morphology via STEM. Nanoscale morphologies with average domain diameters as small as 50 nm were obtained for the different blend compositions studied. The STEM photographs show that the graft mPP-g-PC prefers to locate at the interfaces as previously reported. The relaxation spectrum of pure PC and mPP/PC blends was resolved into alpha- and beta-relaxation processes using the Havriliak-Negami equation and ionic conductivity. The dielectric relaxation parameters, such as relaxation peak broadness, maximum frequency, f(max), and dielectric strength, Delta epsilon (for the alpha- and beta-relaxation processes), were found to be blend composition dependent. The kinetics of the alpha-relaxation processes of the blends were well described by Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann (VFT) equation. The local process of PC was resolved into two relaxation processes beta(l) and beta(2), associated with the carbonyl groups ' motion and the combined motions of carbonyl and phenylene groups, respectively. Only beta(2) shifted to lower frequency in the blend while beta(l) was relatively not affected by blending. The electric modulus of the blends was used to get a sufficient resolution of the different relaxation processes in the samples, i.e., alpha-, beta-relaxation processes, ionic conductivity, and interfacial polarization. In addition, the blending method used was found to increase the d.c. conductivity without affecting the charge carrier transport mechanism, making it possible to develop novel polymer blends with tunable dielectric properties and morphology from existing polymers. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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