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Research Letters in Physical Chemistry
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 504917, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2008/504917
Research Letter

Homogenization of Mutually Immiscible Polymers Using Nanoscale Effects: A Theoretical Study

1New Materials Department, CIDETEC, Paseo Miramón 196, 20009 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
2Departament of Polymer Science and Technology, Faculty of Chemistry and Polymat, UPV/EHU, P.O. Box 1072, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain

Received 21 January 2008; Accepted 9 May 2008

Academic Editor: Liming Dai

Copyright © 2008 Sarah Montes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A theoretical study to investigate homogenization of mutually immiscible polymers using nanoscale effects has been performed. Specifically, the miscibility behavior of all-polymer nanocomposites composed of linear-polystyrene (PS) chains and individual cross-linked poly(methyl methacrylate)-nanoparticles (PMMA-NPs) has been predicted. By using a mean field theory accounting for combinatorial interaction energy and nanoparticle-driven effects, phase diagrams were constructed as a function of PMMA-NP size, PS molecular weight, and temperature. Interestingly, complete miscibility (i.e., homogeneity) was predicted from room temperature to 675 K for PMMA-nanoparticles with radius less than ~7 nm blended with PS chains (molecular weight 150 kDa, nanoparticle volume fraction 20%) in spite of the well-known immiscibility between PS and PMMA. Several nanoscale effects affecting miscibility in PMMA-NP/PS nanocomposites involving small PMMA-nanoparticles are discussed.