Graphene Oxide Nanosheet Induced Intrachain Conformational Ordering in a Semicrystalline Polymer

The physical origin of graphene oxide nanosheet (GONS)-driven polymer crystallization was studied from the perspective of intrachain conformational ordering. Time-resolved Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that both conformational ordering and crystallization of isotactic polypropylene (iPP) were obviously accelerated by the presence of GONSs, indicating their efficient nucleation activity for iPP crystallization. Furthermore, the ordering of long helical segments occurred prior to the crystallization of iPP, as revealed by two-dimensional correlation infrared analysis. Compared to pure bulk system, the presence of GONSs was in favor of the formation of long ordering segments, especially at the early stage, accompanied by considerable enhancement of the crystallization kinetics. GONS-driven iPP crystallization was suggested to be attributed to this GONS-induced intrachain conformational ordering.