Nanodiamonds (NDs) can considerably improve the mechanical and thermal properties of polymeric composites. However, the tendency of NDs to aggregate limits the potential of these non-toxic, mechanically- and chemically-robust nanofillers. In this work, tough, flexible, and stimuli-responsive polyelectrolyte films composed of cross-linked poly(butyl acrylate-co-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (P(BA-co-DMAEMA)) were prepared by photopolymerization. The effects of the added carboxylate-functionalized NDs on their mechanical and stimuli-responsive properties were studied. When the negatively charged NDs were added to the polymerization media directly, the mechanical properties of the films changed only slightly, because of the uneven distribution of the aggregated NDs in the films. In order to disperse and distribute the NDs more evenly, a prepolymerized polycation block copolymer complexing agent was used during the photopolymerization process. This approach improved the mechanical properties of the films and enhanced their thermally-induced, reversible phase-transition behavior.
- 116 Kemia