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Entrapped Styrene Butadiene Polymer Chains by Sol-Gel-Derived Silica Nanoparticles with Hierarchical Raspberry Structures

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2010-2022
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A sol-gel transformation of liquid silica precursor to solid silica particles was carried out in a one-pot synthesis way, where a solution of styrene butadiene elastomer was present. The composites, thus produced, offered remarkable improvements of mechanical and dynamic mechanical performances compared to precipitated silica. The morphological analysis reveals that the alkoxy-based silica particles resemble a raspberry structure when the synthesis of the silica was carried out in the presence of polymer molecules and represent a much more open silica-network structure. However, in the absence of the polymer, the morphology of the silica particles is found to be different. It is envisaged that the special morphology of the in situ synthesized silica particles contributes to the superior reinforcement effects, which are associated with a strong silica-rubber interaction by rubber chains trapped inside the raspberry-like silica aggregates. Therefore, the interfaces are characterized in detail by low-field solid-state 1H NMR spectroscopy, 29Si solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Low-field 1H NMR-based double-quantum experiments provide a quantitative information about the cross-link density of the silica-filled rubber composites and about the influence of silane coupling agent on the chemical cross-link density of the network and correlates well with equilibrium swelling measurements. The special microstructure of the alkoxy-based silica was found to be associated with the interaction between alkoxy-based silica and rubber chains as a consequence of particle growth in the presence of rubber chains.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland