Self-assembled structures of 1,3:2,4-di(3,4-dimethylbenzylidene) sorbitol in hydrophobic polymer matrices prepared using different heat treatments

Research Paper


We report a method for tuning the nanoarchitectures of 1,3:2,4-di(3,4-dimethylbenzylidene) sorbitol (DMDBS) with poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) polymer matrices. Hydrophobic PVDF facilitated the formation of nanofibrils during heating. The self-assembly behaviors of DMDBS were further tuned by altering the different heat treatments. When the samples were prepared with a rapid heating rate (shorter annealing time), smaller amounts of melted PVDF were excluded due to the shorter time for aggregation of DMDBS, leading to larger complex structures of DMDBS and PVDF. Therefore, longer and thicker nanofibrils (around 100 nm) were observed using scanning electron microscopy. As the samples were prepared with a slow heating rate (longer annealing time), DMDBS had more time to aggregate, and therefore, larger amounts of melted PVDF were excluded. Smaller complex structures of DMDBS and PVDF caused the formation of shorter and thinner nanofibrils (around 40 nm). In addition, small-angle X-ray scattering results indicated that the longer and thicker nanofibrils were mostly excluded outside the PVDF crystalline bundles after cooling because they were too large to be easily incorporated between the PVDF crystalline lamellae. However, a large portion of the smaller and thinner nanofibrils was trapped between the crystalline lamellae after cooling due to their smaller sizes. As expected, the PVDF spherulitic morphologies were affected, but the PVDF crystalline microstructures were not significantly altered by the addition of DMDBS, as shown by the results from polarized optical microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.


Polymer Nanofibrils Self-assembly SEM SAXS Nanoarchitectures 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 101-2628-E-032 -002 -MY3).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringTamkang UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Energy and Opto-Electronic Materials Research CenterTamkang UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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