Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Vol.116, No.28, 8312-8320, 2012
Impact of Ionic Liquid-Modified Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes on the Crystallization Behavior of Poly(vinylidene fluoride)
The impact of pristine multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), an ionic liquid (IL), 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate [BMIM] [PF6], and the ionic liquid-modified MWCNTs (IL-MWCNTs) on the crystallization behavior of melt-crystallized poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) has been investigated. Pristine MWCNTs accelerate crystallization of PVDF as an efficient nucleation agent, while the formed crystals are mainly nonpolar alpha crystal form with few polar beta crystals. Incorporation of only ionic liquid results in depression of the PVDF melt crystallization rate due to the miscibility of IL with PVDF but leads to a higher content of polar crystals (beta and gamma forms) than MWCNTs. The ionic liquid and MWCNTs show significant synergetic effects on both the nucleation and the formation of polar crystals for PVDF by melt crystallization. Addition of IL-MWCNTs not only improves the MWCNTs dispersion in PVDF matrix but also increases the overall crystallization rate of PVDF drastically. More important, the melt-crystallized PVDF nanocomposites with IL-MWCNTs show 100% polar polymorphs but no a crystal forms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the achievements of full polar crystal form in the melt-crystallized PVDF without mechanical deformation or electric field. The IL to MWCNTs ratio and the IL-MWCNTs loading content effects on the crystallization behavior of PVDF in the nanocomposites were also studied. It is considered that the specific interactions between >CF2 with the planar cationic imidazolium ring wrapped on the MWCNTs surface lead to the full zigzag conformations of PVDF; thus, nucleation in polar crystals (beta and gamma forms) lattice is achieved and full polar crystals are obtained by subsequent crystal growth from the nuclei.