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Polymer reinforcement using liquid-exfoliated boron nitride nanosheets.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23203296     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
We have exfoliated hexagonal boron nitride by ultrasonication in solutions of polyvinylalcohol in water. The resultant nanosheets are sterically stabilised by adsorbed polymer chains. Centrifugation-based size-selection was used to give dispersions of nanosheets with aspect ratio (length/thickness) of ∼1400. Such dispersions can be used to produce polyvinylalcohol-BN composite films. Helium ion microscopy of fracture surfaces shows the nanosheets to be well dispersed and the composites to fail by pull-out. We find both modulus, Y, and strength, σ(B), of these composites to increase linearly with volume fraction, V(f), up to V(f) ∼ 0.1 vol% BN before falling off. The rates of increase are extremely high; dY/dV(f) = 670 GPa and dσ(B)/dV(f) = 47 GPa. The former value matches theory based on continuum mechanics while the latter value is consistent with remarkably high polymer-filler interfacial strength. However, because the mechanical properties increase over such a narrow volume fraction range, the maximum values of both modulus and strength are only ∼40% higher than the pure polymer. This phenomenon has also been observed for graphene-filled composites and represents a serious hurdle to the production of high performance polymer-nanosheet composites.
Umar Khan; Peter May; Arlene O'Neill; Alan P Bell; Elodie Boussac; Arnaud Martin; James Semple; Jonathan N Coleman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-12-3
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nanoscale     Volume:  -     ISSN:  2040-3372     ISO Abbreviation:  Nanoscale     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-3     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101525249     Medline TA:  Nanoscale     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) & School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
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