Studying the Physical and Chemical Properties of Polydimethylsiloxane Matrix Reinforced by Nanostructured TiO2 Supported on Mesoporous Silica

Sari Katz*, Noa Lachman, Nir Hafif, Lilach Rosh, Alexander Pevzner, Amir Lybman, Tal Amitay-Rosen, Ido Nir, Hadar Rotter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, a reactive adsorbent filler was integrated into a polymeric matrix as a novel reactive protective barrier without undermining its mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties. For this purpose, newly synthesized TiO2/MCM/polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composites were prepared, and their various properties were thoroughly studied. The filler, TiO2/MCM, is based on a (45 wt%) TiO2 nanoparticle catalyst inside the pores of ordered mesoporous silica, MCM-41, which combines a high adsorption capacity and catalytic capability. This study shows that the incorporation of TiO2/MCM significantly enhances the composite’s Young’s modulus in terms of tensile strength, as an optimal measurement of 1.6 MPa was obtained, compared with that of 0.8 MPa of pristine PDMS. The composites also showed a higher thermal stability, a reduction in the coefficient of thermal expansion (from 290 to 110 ppm/°C), a 25% reduction in the change in the normalized specific heat capacity, and an increase in the thermal degradation temperatures. The chemical stability in organic environments was improved, as toluene swelling decreased by 40% and the contact angle increased by ~15°. The enhanced properties of the novel synthesized TiO2/MCM/PDMS composite can be used in various applications where a high adsorption capacity and catalytic/photocatalytic activity are required, such as in protective equipment, microfluidic applications, and chemical sensor devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalPolymers
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • TiO nanoparticles
  • mechanical properties
  • ordered mesoporous silica
  • polydimethylsiloxane-based composite
  • reactive protective barrier
  • thermal properties

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