Hierarchical Canopy Dynamics of Electrolyte-Doped Nanoscale Ionic Materials

Michael L. Jespersen, Peter A. Mirau, Ernst D. von Meerwall, Hilmar Koerner, Richard A. Vaia, Nikhil J. Fernandes, Emmanuel P. Giannelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nanoscale ionic materials (NIMs) are organic-inorganic hybrids prepared from ionically functionalized nanoparticles (NP) neutralized by oligomeric polymer counterions. NIMs are designed to behave as liquids under ambient conditions in the absence of solvent and have no volatile organic content, making them useful for a number of applications. We have used nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation and pulsed-field gradient NMR to probe local and collective canopy dynamics in NIMs based on 18-nm silica NPs with a covalently bound anionic corona, neutralized by amine-terminated ethylene oxide/propylene oxide block copolymers. The NMR relaxation studies show that the nanosecond-scale canopy dynamics depend on the degree of neutralization, the canopy radius of gyration, and crowding at the ionically modified NP surface. Two canopy populations are observed in the diffusion experiments, demonstrating that one fraction of the canopy is bound to the NP surface on the time scale (milliseconds) of the diffusion experiment and is surrounded by a more mobile layer of canopy that is unable to access the surface due to molecular crowding. The introduction of electrolyte ions (Na+ or Mg2+) screens the canopy-corona electrostatic interactions, resulting in a reduced bulk viscosity and faster canopy exchange. The magnitude of the screening effect depends upon ion concentration and valence, providing a simple route for tuning the macroscopic properties of NIMs. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9669-9675
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecules
Volume46
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2013
Externally publishedYes

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