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Thermomechanical Properties and Glass Dynamics of Polymer-Tethered Colloidal Particles and Films

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2017 by Yu Cang, Anna N. Reuss, Jaejun Lee, Jiajun Yan, Jianan Zhang, Elena Alonso-Redondo, Rebecca Sainidou, Pascal Rembert, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Michael R. Bockstaller, George Fytas
Polymer-tethered colloidal particles (aka “particle brush materials”) have attracted interest as a platform for innovative material technologies and as a model system to elucidate glass formation in complex structured media. In this contribution, Brillouin light scattering is used to sequentially evaluate the role of brush architecture on the dynamical properties of brush particles in both the individual and assembled (film) state. In the former state, the analysis reveals that brush–brush interactions as well as global chain relaxation sensitively depend on grafting density; i.e., more polymer-like behavior is observed in sparse brush systems. This is interpreted to be a consequence of more extensive chain entanglement. In contrast, the local relaxation of films does not depend on grafting density. The results highlight that relaxation processes in particle brush-based materials span a wider range of time and length scales as compared to linear chain polymers. Differentiation between relaxation on local and global scale is necessary to reveal the influence of molecular structure and connectivity on the aging behavior of these complex systems.