Organic/Inorganic Imide Nanocomposites from Aminophenylsilsesquioxanes

Richard Laine

J. Choi, R. Tamaki, S.G. Kim, and R.M. Laine (2003)

Chem. Mater., 15:3365 – 3375.

We present here part of an ongoing study on structure−processing−property relationships in cubic silsesquioxane (cube) nanocomposites. Here, we focus on imide nanocomposites prepared from octaaminophenylsilsesquioxane (OAPS) as a model nanobuilding block for rigid, high-temperature hybrid nanocomposite materials. OAPS units are linked NH2 vertex to NH2 vertex by reaction with various dianhydrides to form three-dimensional nanocomposites. The architecture of the organic tethers between vertices can be manipulated to optimize processability, rigidity, and thermomechanical properties. Studies were initiated using an extreme tether structure with zero flexibility prepared by solvent casting and then curing mixtures of OAPS with pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA) at 330 °C. The resulting materials are extremely brittle, making thermomechanical property measurements quite difficult. Tether rigidity, length, and cross-link densities were then modified using reactions of OAPS with oxydiphthalic anhydride (ODPA) and diluting with oxydianiline (ODA) to adjust nanocomposite stiffness. FTIR and DMA of the OAPS/ODPA/ODA nanocomposites suggest that cure temperatures of >500 °C are necessary for optimal imidization. However, increasing the cross-link density alone by increasing OAPS loading without curing at high temperatures also significantly improves thermomechanical stabilities. DMA, TGA, and nanoindentation measurements show that macroscopic relaxation is eliminated completely at OAPS loadings of >60 mol % providing 5% mass loss at temperatures >570 °C and compressive moduli of ≈3.8 GPa.

Nanocomposites, silsesquioxanes