Journal article

Assessment Of The Dispersion Quality Of Refractive Index-Matched Nanodispersions

Dispersion quality has a large influence on the resulting properties of filled polymers, hybrids and nanocomposites in general. Reducing the van der Waals forces and therefore, matching the refractive index between the filler and the matrix should improve dispersion in hybrid materials. However, in this case the usual light-based techniques cannot be used to assess dispersion quality. In this work, dispersions containing silica nanoparticles and a solvent mixture of 1-butanol and benzyl alcohol were analysed by rheologica I methods. The refractive index of the solvent was changed by varying the mixing ratio, and thus the effectof index difference on the filler-matrix interaction was investigated. In agreement with theory, a stronger gel network was observed when the refractive index of filler and solvent were matched. If the difference in refractive index of the two materials became too large, particles and solvent interaction was reduced, and agglomerates were formed. This resulted in a weaker gel network.


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