Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: TiO2 nanorod polymer composite materials
Author: Vukicevic, Uros
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 8921
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The remarkable characteristics of Ti02 are widely used, from everyday life applications (pigments, food/cosmetics additives) to more specialised systems, including photovoltaics and structural composites. Use in polymers is substantial (25% of all Ti02 produced), but most applications and research focus on commercial powders. A new generation of Ti02 nanoparticles has emerged, based on very small, single-crystals, with well-defined morphology and phase. A limited number of papers report the use of this new nanoscale Ti02 in polymer nanocomposites, and indicate improved properties. Although the synthesis of anisotropic nanoparticles (e. g. nanorods) has been well-reported, use in polymer nanocomposites remains largely unreported. This thesis broadly covers three topics: (1) synthesis of Ti02 nanorods using different sol-gel routes in presence of structure directing agents, (2) modification of the nanorod surface chemistry in order to control dispersion and surface properties and (3) fabrication of titania nanorod-polymer composites. Singlecrystal anatase nanorods were produced with variable aspect ratio (3-12), depending on the specific structure directing agent (SDA) used during synthesis. Due to organic functionalisation at the nanorod surface, nanorods could be well dispersed in chloroform. A new procedure, based on the self-cleaning ability of Ti02 under UV, was developed for removal of organics from the nanorod surface, without compromising the nanorod morphology, crystallinity or dispersibility. This powerful tool can be used to change the surface character of the nanorods to generate aqueous TNR dispersions. Stable dispersions were achieved using quaternary ammonium hydroxides to modify the surface electrostatically and sterically. Once dispersed individually, the surface can be further modified by sol-gel chemistry. Composite work involved blending both organic and water-soluble polymers with nanorod dispersions in chloroform and water, respectively, to produce composite films of exceptional optical transparency, even for nanorod loadings up to 30 wt%. The films possess very strong, wavelength-tuneable UV absorbance, which could be used in UV filters and optical limiting. The presence of SDAs or dispersants at the nanorodpolymer interface hinders strong adhesion, as evidenced by marginally lower tensile strength and thermal stability of the nanocomposites. The photo-stability of the nanorod composites is comparable to that of the pure polymer and better than that of composites with commercial equiaxed TiO2 nanoparticles.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available