Mesoporous silica/polymer nanocomposites
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New approaches through grafting initiators onto the surface of inner-wall of mesoporous silica to synthesize polymer inside the nano-channels to obtain mesoporous silica/polymer nanocomposites were developed and investigated. Using the newly developed approach, PMMA was successfully synthesized through free radical polymerization and nylon 6 though in situ anionic ring-opening polymerization inside the nano-channels. The spherical mesoporous silica/PMMA composites we obtained showed a higher degradation temperature and narrower degradation range than pure commercially available PMMA. Spherical PMMA capsules were obtained after the silica network was dissolved with hydrofluoric acid, these pure PMMA spheres had the same thermal properties and morphology as they had with in the composites. The BMS/nylon 6 nanocomposites were spheres with the same diameter as pure BMS. About 50 wt% of the composites was newly synthesized nylon 6. The synthesized nylon 6 was proven to contain both α-form crystallite and γ-form crystallites with covalent bonds with the surface of silica inside the nano-channels.