Directed Self-Assembly and Morphology of Aryl-Substituted POSS in Polyetherimide Films
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE
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Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes POSS share characteristics of small molecules as well as nanoparticles, making them attractive candidates for studies of directed self-assembly. The use of POSS in high-temperature engineering thermoplastics has been limited to date by strong incompatibility between the generally aliphatic POSS substituents and the generally aromatic backbones of engineering thermoplastics. We report on the morphology via SEM and light scattering, and physical properties such as Tg of a new class of blends POSS compounds containing aromatic substituents in the engineering thermoplastic polyetherimide, with a focus on the role of polymer orientation in directing the morphology of POSS aggregation. Since molecular orientation is relatively easy to control in engineering thermoplastics, it represents a potentially useful means of forming controlled nanoscale morphologies that impart beneficial properties such as heat resistance, wear resistance, and decreased permeability to high-performance thermoplastic materials.