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Polymers, Volume 14, Issue 3 (February-1 2022) – 294 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Antibiotics are widely used to fight surgical infections. It is advisable to use them locally to protect the rest of the body microbiome. Various carriers are used for local application. For example, polymeric biodegradable scaffolds. If an antibiotic is introduced into the structure of the fibers, then the material will first perform the function of drug delivery, and then, after the depletion of its reserves, will assist new tissue formation. In this work, the polylactic acid fibers with chloramphenicol and magnetron plasma have been successfully used to accelerate drug release. View this paper.
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10 pages, 3408 KiB  
Article
High-Performance IGZO Nanowire-Based Field-Effect Transistors with Random-Network Channels by Electrospun PVP Nanofiber Template Transfer
by Ki-Woong Park and Won-Ju Cho
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030651 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2304
Abstract
A random network of indium–gallium–zinc oxide (IGZO) nanowires was fabricated by electrospun-polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-nanofiber template transfer. Conventional electrospun nanofibers have been extensively studied owing to their flexibility and inherently high surface-to-volume ratio. However, solution-based IGZO nanofibers have critical issues such as poor electrical properties, [...] Read more.
A random network of indium–gallium–zinc oxide (IGZO) nanowires was fabricated by electrospun-polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-nanofiber template transfer. Conventional electrospun nanofibers have been extensively studied owing to their flexibility and inherently high surface-to-volume ratio. However, solution-based IGZO nanofibers have critical issues such as poor electrical properties, reliability, and uniformity. Furthermore, high-temperature calcination, which is essential for vaporizing the polymer matrix, hinders their applications for flexible electronics. Therefore, sputter-based IGZO nanowires were obtained in this study using electrospun PVP nanofibers as an etching mask to overcome the limitations of conventional electrospun IGZO nanofibers. Field-effect transistors (FETs) were fabricated using two types of channels, that is, the nanofiber template-transferred IGZO nanowires and electrospun IGZO nanofibers. A comparison of the transmittance, adhesion, electrical properties, reliability, and uniformity of these two channels in operation revealed that the nanofiber template-transferred IGZO nanowire FETs demonstrated higher transmittance, stronger substrate adhesion, superior electrical performance, and operational reliability and uniformity compared to the electrospun IGZO nanofiber FETs. The proposed IGZO nanowires fabricated by PVP nanofiber template transfer are expected to be a promising channel structure that overcomes the limitations of conventional electrospun IGZO nanofibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Electrospun Nanofibers)
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17 pages, 4886 KiB  
Article
pH-Induced 3D Printable Chitosan Hydrogels for Soft Actuation
by Sheila Maiz-Fernández, Leyre Pérez-Álvarez, Unai Silván, José Luis Vilas-Vilela and Senentxu Lanceros-Méndez
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030650 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3302
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing represents a suitable technology for the development of biomimetic scaffolds for biomedical and tissue engineering applications. However, hydrogel-based inks’ printability remains a challenge due to their restricted print accuracy, mechanical properties, swelling or even cytotoxicity. Chitosan is a natural-derived polysaccharide [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing represents a suitable technology for the development of biomimetic scaffolds for biomedical and tissue engineering applications. However, hydrogel-based inks’ printability remains a challenge due to their restricted print accuracy, mechanical properties, swelling or even cytotoxicity. Chitosan is a natural-derived polysaccharide that has arisen as a promising bioink due to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, sustainability and antibacterial properties, among others, as well as its ability to form hydrogels under the influence of a wide variety of mechanisms (thermal, ionic, pH, covalent, etc.). Its poor solubility at physiological pH, which has traditionally restricted its use, represents, on the contrary, the simplest way to induce chitosan gelation. Accordingly, herein a NaOH strong base was employed as gelling media for the direct 3D printing of chitosan structures. The obtained hydrogels were characterized in terms of morphology, chemical interactions, swelling and mechanical and rheological properties in order to evaluate the influence of the gelling solution’s ionic strength on the hydrogel characteristics. Further, the influence of printing parameters, such as extrusion speed (300, 600 and 800 mm/min) and pressure (20–35 kPa) and the cytocompatibility were also analyzed. In addition, printed gels show an electro-induced motion due to their polycationic nature, which highlights their potential as soft actuators and active scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Natural-Based Polymers)
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14 pages, 36890 KiB  
Article
Dielectric Properties of Fluorinated Aromatic Polyimide Films with Rigid Polymer Backbones
by Jian-Jun He, Hai-Xia Yang, Feng Zheng and Shi-Yong Yang
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030649 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 4684
Abstract
Fluorinated aromatic polyimide (FAPI) films with rigid polymer backbones have been prepared by chemical imidization approach. The polyimide films exhibited excellent mechanical properties including elastic modulus of up to 8.4 GPa and tensile strength of up to 326.7 MPa, and outstanding thermal stability [...] Read more.
Fluorinated aromatic polyimide (FAPI) films with rigid polymer backbones have been prepared by chemical imidization approach. The polyimide films exhibited excellent mechanical properties including elastic modulus of up to 8.4 GPa and tensile strength of up to 326.7 MPa, and outstanding thermal stability including glass transition temperature (Tg) of 346.3–351.6 °C and thermal decomposition temperature in air (Td5) of 544.1–612.3 °C, as well as high colorless transmittance of >81.2% at 500 nm. Moreover, the polyimide films showed stable dielectric constant and low dielectric loss at 10–60 GHz, attributed to the close packing of rigid polymer backbones that limited the deflection of the dipole in the electric field. Molecular dynamics simulation was also established to describe the relationship of molecular structure and dielectric loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermoplastic Polymers and Composites)
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18 pages, 23455 KiB  
Article
Lignin-Mediated Silver Nanoparticle Synthesis for Photocatalytic Degradation of Reactive Yellow 4G and In Vitro Assessment of Antioxidant, Antidiabetic, and Antibacterial Activities
by Rijuta Ganesh Saratale, Si-Kyung Cho, Ganesh Dattatraya Saratale, Avinash Ashok Kadam, Gajanan Sampatrao Ghodake, Verjesh Kumar Magotra, Manu Kumar, Ram Naresh Bharagava, Sunita Varjani, Ramasubba Reddy Palem, Sikandar I. Mulla, Dong-Su Kim and Han-Seung Shin
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030648 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3547
Abstract
This study explored the potential of abundantly available sodium lignosulfonate (LS) as a reducer and fabricating agent in preparing silver nanoparticles (LS–Ag NPs). The operational conditions were optimized to make the synthesis process simpler, rapid, and eco-friendly. The prepared LS–Ag NPs were analyzed [...] Read more.
This study explored the potential of abundantly available sodium lignosulfonate (LS) as a reducer and fabricating agent in preparing silver nanoparticles (LS–Ag NPs). The operational conditions were optimized to make the synthesis process simpler, rapid, and eco-friendly. The prepared LS–Ag NPs were analyzed via UV–Vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Results demonstrated that LS–Ag NPs were of crystalline structure, capped with LS constituents, and spherical in shape with a size of approximately 20 nm. Under optimized conditions, LS–Ag NPs exhibited significant photocatalytic activity in Reactive Yellow 4G degradation. The effects of photocatalyst (LS–Ag NPs) dosage, dye concentration, and its reusability for dye degradation were studied to make the process practically applicable in textile wastewater treatment. Additionally, the synthesized LS–Ag NPs displayed significant free radical scavenging against 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) with an IC50 value of (50.2 ± 0.70 µg/mL) and also exhibited antidiabetic activity in terms of inhibition in the activity of carbohydrate-degrading marker enzyme α-glucosidase with an IC50 value of (58.1 ± 0.65 µg/mL). LS–Ag NPs showed substantial antibacterial potential against pathogenic strains, namely E. coli and S. aureus. In conclusion, LS–Ag NPs can be a reliable and eco-friendly material for their possible application in the treatment of dye-containing wastewater and have a great perspective in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Antibacterial Activity of Polymeric Materials)
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20 pages, 1029 KiB  
Review
Potential of Using Amazon Natural Fibers to Reinforce Cementitious Composites: A Review
by Thuany E. S. de Lima, Afonso R. G. de Azevedo, Markssuel T. Marvila, Verônica S. Candido, Roman Fediuk and Sergio N. Monteiro
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030647 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3377
Abstract
The engineering application of natural lignocellulosic fibers (NLFs) has been intensifying all over the world due to their low cost and abundance, as well as their being eco-friendly and presenting favorable technological properties in polymeric and cementitious composites. Brazil, especially the Amazon region, [...] Read more.
The engineering application of natural lignocellulosic fibers (NLFs) has been intensifying all over the world due to their low cost and abundance, as well as their being eco-friendly and presenting favorable technological properties in polymeric and cementitious composites. Brazil, especially the Amazon region, owing to its climate and geographic position, has an abundant variety of NLFs that are still unexplored with great potential for use in various composite materials and applications such as civil construction, automobile parts and armor. Therefore, this review aims to establish a parallel between the technological properties of cementitious composites reinforced with Amazon NLFs, both in fresh and hardened states, and to analyze, compare results and contribute to a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the types of reinforcements. A relevant contribution of this review is the possibility of improving knowledge about Amazon NLFs, showing their potential for application in eco-friendly materials, in addition to contributing to studies with new NLFs not yet applied in composite. For this, it was necessary to carry out a literature survey on the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of cementitious composites reinforced with NLFs, in addition to analyzing case studies involving fibers such as curaua, açai, bamboo, jute and sisal. It can be concluded that the physical and chemical characteristics of the Amazon NLFs directly influence the technological properties of cementitious compounds, such as mechanical strength and water absorption. However, there might be a need for surface treatment aimed at improving adhesion and durability of the cementitious composite. Finally, some suggestions for future research work are highlighted in order to show the need to continue investigations on the application of Amazon NLFs in cementitious composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Fibers)
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10 pages, 2267 KiB  
Article
Change in Micro-Morphology and Micro-Mechanical Properties of Thermally Modified Moso Bamboo
by Tiancheng Yuan, Yaqian Huang, Tao Zhang, Xinzhou Wang and Yanjun Li
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030646 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2019
Abstract
In recent years, saturated steam heat treatment has been considered as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective modification method compared with traditional heat treatment media. In this study, bamboo was treated by saturated steam, and the change in chemical composition, cellulose crystallinity index, micro-morphology, [...] Read more.
In recent years, saturated steam heat treatment has been considered as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective modification method compared with traditional heat treatment media. In this study, bamboo was treated by saturated steam, and the change in chemical composition, cellulose crystallinity index, micro-morphology, and micromechanical properties were analyzed by a wet chemistry method, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), nanoindentation, and so on. Results illustrated that the parenchyma cell walls were distorted due to the decomposition of hemicellulose and cellulose in bamboo samples. As expected, the hemicellulose and cellulose content decreased, whereas the lignin content increased significantly. In addition, the cellulose crystallinity index and thus the micromechanical properties of bamboo cell walls increased. For example, the hardness increased from 0.69 GPa to 0.84 GPa owing to the enhanced crystallinity index and lignin content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Polymer Composites: Processing, Properties, and Applications)
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21 pages, 24965 KiB  
Article
Stereocomplexation Reinforced High Strength Poly(L-lactide)/Nanohydroxyapatite Composites for Potential Bone Repair Applications
by Naishun Guo, Mengen Zhao, Sijing Li, Jiahui Hao, Zhaoying Wu and Chao Zhang
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030645 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
Composite materials composed of polylactide (PLA) and nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) have been recognized as excellent candidate material in bone repai The difference in hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity and poor interfacial compatibility between n-HA filler and PLA matrix leads to non-uniform dispersion of n-HA in PLA matrix and [...] Read more.
Composite materials composed of polylactide (PLA) and nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) have been recognized as excellent candidate material in bone repai The difference in hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity and poor interfacial compatibility between n-HA filler and PLA matrix leads to non-uniform dispersion of n-HA in PLA matrix and consequent poor reinforcement effect. In this study, an HA/PLA nanocomposite was designed based on the surface modification of n-HA with poly(D-lactide) (PDLA), which not only can improve the dispersion of n-HA in the poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) matrix but also could form a stereocomplex crystal with the matrix PLLA at the interface and ultimately lead to greatly enhanced mechanical performance The n-HA/PLA composites were characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-Ray diffraction, thermal gravity analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and a mechanical test; in vitro cytotoxicity of the composite material as well as its efficacy in inducing osteogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow stromal cells (rMSCs) were also evaluated. Compared with those of neat PLLA, the tensile strength, Young’s modulus, interfacial shear strength, elongation at break and crystallinity of the composites increased by 34%, 53%, 26%, 70%, and 17%, respectively. The adhesion and proliferation as well as the osteogenic differentiation of rMSCs on HA/PLA composites were clearly evidenced. Therefore, the HA/PLA composites have great potential for bone repai. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Application of Polymer-Based Composites III)
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22 pages, 4925 KiB  
Article
Integrating Taguchi Method and Gray Relational Analysis for Auto Locks by Using Multiobjective Design in Computer-Aided Engineering
by Wei-Tai Huang, Zi-Yun Tasi, Wen-Hsien Ho and Jyh-Horng Chou
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030644 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2007
Abstract
In automobiles, lock parts are matched with inserts, and this is a crucial quality standard for the dimensional accuracy of the molding. This study employed moldflow analysis to explore the influence of various injection molding process parameters on the warpage deformation. Deformation of [...] Read more.
In automobiles, lock parts are matched with inserts, and this is a crucial quality standard for the dimensional accuracy of the molding. This study employed moldflow analysis to explore the influence of various injection molding process parameters on the warpage deformation. Deformation of the plastic part is caused by the nonuniform product temperature distribution in the manufacturing process. Furthermore, improper parameter design leads to substantial warpage and deformation. The Taguchi robust design method and gray correlation analysis were used to optimize the process parameters. Multiobjective quality analysis was performed for achieving a uniform temperature distribution and reducing the warpage deformation to obtain the optimal injection molding process parameters. Subsequently, three water cooling system designs—original cooling, U-shaped cooling, and conformal cooling—were tested to modify the temperature distribution and reduce the warpage. Taguchi gray correlation analysis revealed that the main influencing parameter was the mold temperature followed by the holding pressure. Moreover, the results indicated that the conformal cooling system improved the average temperature distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Polymer Processing)
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18 pages, 6161 KiB  
Article
Biodiesel Synthesis from High Free-Fatty-Acid Chicken Fat using a Scrap-Tire Derived Solid Acid Catalyst and KOH
by Ibrahim M. Maafa
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030643 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2654
Abstract
A heterogeneous solid acid catalyst was synthesized using tire polymer waste (TPW) for the esterification of waste chicken fat (CF) enriched with fatty acids. The TPW was carbonized and functionalized with concentrated sulfuric acid under various sulfonation conditions to obtain a sulfonated tire [...] Read more.
A heterogeneous solid acid catalyst was synthesized using tire polymer waste (TPW) for the esterification of waste chicken fat (CF) enriched with fatty acids. The TPW was carbonized and functionalized with concentrated sulfuric acid under various sulfonation conditions to obtain a sulfonated tire polymer char (TPC-SO3H) catalyst. The TPC-SO3H catalyst was further characterized via acid-base titration (to ascertain the total concentration of acid), X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis. The esterification reaction conditions of extracted chicken fat with methanol and the viability of catalyst reuse were also investigated. The composition of the free fatty acid (FFA) decreased to below 1% under optimum reaction conditions of 5% TPC-SO3H catalyst, the methanol-to-CF molar-ratio of 15:1, and a reaction time of 120 min at 70 °C. The catalyst preserved its conversion efficiency above 90%, even after three cycles. The results demonstrate that the catalyst is applicable and efficient in the esterification of raw materials containing various fatty acid compositions since different carbonized materials have distinct abilities to combine acid groups. Furthermore, after de-acidification of CF-FFA by the as-prepared TPC-SO3H catalyst, the neutral CF was transesterified completely to biodiesel and characterized via Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy and physicochemical analysis. This work unveils a promising technique for utilizing tire waste generated in large quantities for the development of a novel heterogeneous acid catalyst for biodiesel production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Circular and Green Polymer Science)
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22 pages, 5633 KiB  
Review
Zn-containing Adhesives Facilitate Collagen Protection and Remineralization at the Resin-Dentin Interface: A Narrative Review
by Manuel Toledano, Manuel Toledano-Osorio, Matthias Hannig, Álvaro Carrasco-Carmona, María T. Osorio, Franklin García-Godoy, Inmaculada Cabello and Raquel Osorio
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030642 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2773
Abstract
This is a narrative review of the literature assessing the potential effectiveness of doping dentin polymeric adhesives with zinc compounds in order to improve bonding efficacy, remineralization and protection against degradation. A literature search was conducted using electronic databases, such as PubMed, MEDLINE, [...] Read more.
This is a narrative review of the literature assessing the potential effectiveness of doping dentin polymeric adhesives with zinc compounds in order to improve bonding efficacy, remineralization and protection against degradation. A literature search was conducted using electronic databases, such as PubMed, MEDLINE, DIMDI and Web of Science. Through our search, we found literature demonstrating that Zn-doped dentin adhesives promote protection and remineralization of the resin-dentin interfaces. The increased bioactivity has also facilitated dentinal tubules’ occlusion by crystals’ precipitation contributing to improved sealing efficacy of restorations. Loading dentin adhesives with zinc gives rise to an increase of both crystallinity of mineral and crosslinking of collagen. The main role of zinc, in dentin adhesives, is to inhibit collagen proteolysis. We concluded that zinc exerts a protective effect through binding at the collagen-sensitive cleavage sites of matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs), contributing to dentin matrix stabilization. Zinc may not only act as a MMPs inhibitor, but also influence signaling pathways and stimulate metabolic effects in dentin mineralization and remineralization processes. Zn-doped adhesives increase the longevity of dentin bonding through MMPs inhibition. Zn poses a remineralization strategy in demineralized dentin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Dental Applications II)
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13 pages, 5221 KiB  
Article
Thickness Dependence of Electronic Structure and Optical Properties of F8BT Thin Films
by Bita Ghasemi, Jakub Ševčík, Vojtěch Nádaždy, Karol Végsö, Peter Šiffalovič, Pavel Urbánek and Ivo Kuřitka
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030641 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2922
Abstract
Electronic devices based on polymer thin films have experienced a tremendous increase in their efficiency in the last two decades. One of the critical factors that affects the efficiency of polymer solar cells or light emitting devices is the presence of structural defects [...] Read more.
Electronic devices based on polymer thin films have experienced a tremendous increase in their efficiency in the last two decades. One of the critical factors that affects the efficiency of polymer solar cells or light emitting devices is the presence of structural defects that controls non-radiative recombination. The purpose of this report is to demonstrate a non-trivial thickness dependence of optoelectronic properties and structure (dis)order in thin conductive poly(9,9-dioctyfluorene-alt-benzothiadiazole), F8BT, polymer films. The UV-Vis absorption spectra exhibited blue shift and peak broadening; significant changes in 0–0 and 0–1 radiative transition intensity was found in photoluminescence emission spectra. The density of state (DOS) was directly mapped by energy resolved-electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (ER-EIS). Satellite states 0.5 eV below the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) band were revealed for the thinner polymer films. Moreover, the decreasing of the deep states density in the band gap manifested an increment in the material structural ordering with increasing thickness. Changes in the ratio between crystalline phases with face-on and edge-on orientation of F8BT chains were identified in the films by grazing-incidence wide angle X-ray scattering technique. A thickness threshold in all investigated aspects of the films at a thickness of about 100 nm was observed that can be attributed to the development of J-H aggregation in the film structure and mutual interplay between these two modes. Although a specific structure–property relationship thickness threshold value may be expected for thin films prepared from various polymers, solvents and under different process conditions, the value of about 100 nm can be generally considered as the characteristic length scale of this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis, Characterization and Structure of Polymer Nanomaterials)
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21 pages, 3853 KiB  
Review
Molecularly Imprinted Polymers as State-of-the-Art Drug Carriers in Hydrogel Transdermal Drug Delivery Applications
by Aleksandra Lusina and Michał Cegłowski
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030640 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4521
Abstract
Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) are polymeric networks capable of recognizing determined analytes. Among other methods, non-covalent imprinting has become the most popular synthesis strategy for Molecular Imprinting Technology (MIT). While MIPs are widely used in various scientific fields, one of their most challenging [...] Read more.
Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) are polymeric networks capable of recognizing determined analytes. Among other methods, non-covalent imprinting has become the most popular synthesis strategy for Molecular Imprinting Technology (MIT). While MIPs are widely used in various scientific fields, one of their most challenging applications lies within pharmaceutical chemistry, namely in therapeutics or various medical therapies. Many studies focus on using hydrogel MIPs in transdermal drug delivery, as the most valuable feature of hydrogels in their application in drug delivery systems that allow controlled diffusion and amplification of the microscopic events. Hydrogels have many advantages over other imprinting materials, such as milder synthesis conditions at lower temperatures or the increase in the availability of biological templates like DNA, protein, and nucleic acid. Moreover, one of the most desirable controlled drug delivery applications is the development of stimuli-responsive hydrogels that can modulate the release in response to changes in pH, temperature, ionic strength, or others. The most important feature of these systems is that they can be designed to operate within a particular human body area due to the possibility of adapting to well-known environmental conditions. Therefore, molecularly imprinted hydrogels play an important role in the development of modern drug delivery systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Molecularly Imprinted Polymers)
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11 pages, 3761 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Paper-Based Microfluidics by Spray on Printed Paper
by Yi-Je Juang and Shu-Kai Hsu
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030639 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
Since the monumental work conducted by Whitesides et al. in 2007, research and development of paper-based microfluidics has been widely carried out, with its applications ranging from chemical and biological detection and analysis, to environmental monitoring and food-safety inspection. Paper-based microfluidics possesses several [...] Read more.
Since the monumental work conducted by Whitesides et al. in 2007, research and development of paper-based microfluidics has been widely carried out, with its applications ranging from chemical and biological detection and analysis, to environmental monitoring and food-safety inspection. Paper-based microfluidics possesses several competitive advantages over other substrate materials, such as being simple, inexpensive, power-free for fluid transport, lightweight, biodegradable, biocompatible, good for colorimetric tests, flammable for easy disposal of used paper-based diagnostic devices by incineration, and being chemically modifiable. Myriad methods have been demonstrated to fabricate paper-based microfluidics, such as solid wax printing, cutting, photolithography, microembossing, etc. In this study, fabrication of paper-based microfluidics was demonstrated by spray on the printed paper. Different from the normally used filter papers, printing paper, which is much more accessible and cheaper, was utilized as the substrate material. The toner was intended to serve as the mask and the patterned hydrophobic barrier was formed after spray and heating. The processing parameters such as toner coverage on the printing paper, properties of the hydrophobic spray, surface properties of the paper, and curing temperature and time were systematically investigated. It was found that, after repetitive printing four times, the toner was able to prevent the hydrophobic spray (the mixture of PDMS and ethyl acetate) from wicking through the printing paper. The overall processing time for fabrication of paper-based microfluidic chips was less than 10 min and the technique is potentially scalable. Glucose detection was conducted using the microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs) as fabricated and a linear relationship was obtained between 1 and 10 mM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Micro/Nanofabrication and Manufacturing)
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17 pages, 9479 KiB  
Article
Influences of Modified Sm2O3 on Thermal Stability, Mechanical and Neutron Shielding Properties of Aminophenol Trifunctional Epoxy Resin
by Hongqing Wang, Qunying Huang and Yutao Zhai
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030638 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3625
Abstract
The requirements regarding the weight and capacity reduction of neutron shielding materials have become an urgent issue for advanced nuclear facilities and plants. An epoxy-based neutron shielding material with high-temperature stability and good neutron irradiation resistance was designed in this paper to solve [...] Read more.
The requirements regarding the weight and capacity reduction of neutron shielding materials have become an urgent issue for advanced nuclear facilities and plants. An epoxy-based neutron shielding material with high-temperature stability and good neutron irradiation resistance was designed in this paper to solve the above issue. Aminophenol trifunctional epoxy resin (AFG-90H) was compounded with samarium oxide (Sm2O3) by means of an ultrasonic-assisted method and the compatibility of Sm2O3 with the AFG-90H matrix was improved by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) surface modification. Fabricated Sm2O3-APTES/AFG-90H composites exhibited improved thermal stability, glass transition temperature and Young’s modulus with increased Sm2O3-APTES content. Neutronics calculation results show that the neutron permeability of 2 mm-thick 30 wt% Sm2O3-APTES/AFG-90H was 98.9% higher than that of the AFG-90H matrix under the irradiation of the thermal neutron source. The results show that the proper addition range of Sm2O3-APTES is between 20% and 25%. The Sm2O3-APTES/AFG-90H composite is a promising neutron shielding material for advanced nuclear system. Full article
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34 pages, 6592 KiB  
Review
Rheological Considerations in Processing Self-Reinforced Thermoplastic Polymer Nanocomposites: A Review
by Mohamed Yousfi, Cédric Samuel, Jérémie Soulestin and Marie-France Lacrampe
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030637 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2602
Abstract
The present review relates to the field of nanocomposite materials comprising a thermoplastic nanofibrillar phase dispersed in a matrix that is also thermoplastic. The fact of forming the nanofibrillar phase in situ during melt processing gives it the role of a reinforcing nanofiller [...] Read more.
The present review relates to the field of nanocomposite materials comprising a thermoplastic nanofibrillar phase dispersed in a matrix that is also thermoplastic. The fact of forming the nanofibrillar phase in situ during melt processing gives it the role of a reinforcing nanofiller for thermoplastic materials. This paper discusses the major factors influencing the formation of self-reinforced nanofibrillar polymer composite (NFC) materials throughout manufacturing steps. More specifically, the rheological considerations allowing the prediction of the in situ nanofibrillation during melt blending and post-processing as well as the methods of production of these polymer nanocomposites are described. The major challenges related to the future development in the field of NFCs are addressed. The concept of self-reinforced nanofibrillar polymer materials shows great potential in lightweight eco-design processes and represents a new approach to polymer nanocomposite recycling for a variety of industrial applications. Full article
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15 pages, 4217 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Degradation of Textile Dye on Blended Cellulose Acetate Membranes
by Abdullah M. Asiri, Valerio Pugliese, Francesco Petrosino, Sher Bahadar Khan, Khalid Ahmad Alamry, Soliman Y. Alfifi, Hadi M. Marwani, Maha M. Alotaibi, Debolina Mukherjee and Sudip Chakraborty
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030636 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3135
Abstract
This work aimed to investigate the degradation performance of natural cellulose acetate (CA) membranes filled with ZnO nanostructures. Photocatalytic degradation of reactive toxic dye methylene blue (MB) was studied as a model reaction using UV light. A CA membrane was previously casted and [...] Read more.
This work aimed to investigate the degradation performance of natural cellulose acetate (CA) membranes filled with ZnO nanostructures. Photocatalytic degradation of reactive toxic dye methylene blue (MB) was studied as a model reaction using UV light. A CA membrane was previously casted and fabricated through the phase inversion processes and laboratory-synthesized ZnO microparticles as filler. The prepared membrane was characterized for pore size, ultrafiltration (UF) performance, porosity, morphology using scanning electron micrographs (SEM), water contact angle and catalytic degradation of MB. The prepared membrane shows a significant amount of photocatalytic oxidation under UV. The photocatalytic results under UV-light radiation in CA filled with ZnO nanoparticles (CA/ZnO) demonstrated faster and more efficient MB degradation, resulting in more than 30% of initial concentration. The results also revealed how the CA/ZnO combination effectively improves the membrane’s photocatalytic activity toward methylene blue (MB), showing that the degradation process of dye solutions to UV light is chemically and physically stable and cost-effective. This photocatalytic activity toward MB of the cellulose acetate membranes has the potential to make these membranes serious competitors for removing textile dye and other pollutants from aqueous solutions. Hence, polymer–ZnO composite membranes were considered a valuable and attractive topic in membrane technology. Full article
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12 pages, 2491 KiB  
Article
HPMC Hydrogel Formation Mechanisms Unveiled by the Evaluation of the Activation Energy
by Saray Perez-Robles, Claudia Carotenuto and Mario Minale
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030635 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3343
Abstract
Aqueous solutions of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) show inverse thermoreversible gelation, i.e., they respond to small temperature variations exhibiting sol–gel transition during heating, and reversibly gel–sol transition during cooling. According to the pertinent literature on HPMC aqueous systems, at room temperature, the loss modulus [...] Read more.
Aqueous solutions of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) show inverse thermoreversible gelation, i.e., they respond to small temperature variations exhibiting sol–gel transition during heating, and reversibly gel–sol transition during cooling. According to the pertinent literature on HPMC aqueous systems, at room temperature, the loss modulus (G”) is higher than the storage modulus (G’). During the heating ramp, the viscoelastic response follows a peculiar path: initially, G” and G’ smoothly decrease, then drop to a minimum and finally increase. Eventually, G’ overcomes G”, indicating the gel formation. A recent explanation of this behaviour considers a two-step mechanism: first, phase separation occurs, then fibrils form from a polymer-rich phase and entangle, leading to a three-dimensional network. Based on this, our research focuses on the rheological analysis of the different steps of the sol–gel transition of an HPMC aqueous solution. We perform different viscoelastic tests: thermal ramps, time sweeps, and frequency sweeps at selected characteristic temperatures. We couple classical analysis of the SAOS experiments with an innovative approach based on the evaluation of the activation energy (Ea), made possible by the instrument intrinsic temperature oscillations around the target value. Results show that Ea can be a valid tool that contributes to further clarifying the peculiar microstructural evolution occurring in this kind of thermoreversible gel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Hydrogels)
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14 pages, 18905 KiB  
Article
Thermal Degradation Kinetics Analysis of Ethylene-Propylene Copolymer and EP-1-Hexene Terpolymer
by Hassam Mazhar, Farrukh Shehzad, Sung-Gil Hong and Mamdouh A. Al-Harthi
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030634 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
LLDPE is a less crystalline polymer with vast industrial and domestic applications. It is imperative to understand the synthesis, processing conditions, and thermal degradation mechanism of the co- as well as terpolymers. This paper reports the in-situ synthesis and thermal degradation studies of [...] Read more.
LLDPE is a less crystalline polymer with vast industrial and domestic applications. It is imperative to understand the synthesis, processing conditions, and thermal degradation mechanism of the co- as well as terpolymers. This paper reports the in-situ synthesis and thermal degradation studies of the ethylene-propylene copolymer and ethylene-propylene-1-hexene terpolymer and its nanocomposite with ZnAL LDH sheets. The 1-hexene dosing during the in-situ process influenced the product yield and immensely affected the thermal stability of the resultant polymer. One milliliter 1-hexene in-situ addition increased the product yield by 170 percent, while the temperature at 10 percent weight loss in TGA was dropped by about 60 °C. While only 0.3 weight percent ZnAL LDH addition in the terpolymer improved the thermal stability by 10 °C. A master plot technique and combined kinetics analysis (CKA) were deployed to access the thermal degradation mechanism of the synthesized polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging of Polymer Materials)
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24 pages, 59957 KiB  
Article
Multi-Analytical Investigations of Andy Warhol’s “Orange Car Crash”: Polymeric Materials in Modern Paints
by Valentina Pintus, Anthony J. Baragona, Federica Cappa, Christa Haiml, Christina Hierl, Katja Sterflinger and Manfred Schreiner
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030633 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3193
Abstract
This work presents strategic multi-analytical investigations performed on “Orange Car Crash” by Andy Warhol in order to make a well-informed conservation decision. For determining the type of binding medium used in the artwork, Pyrolysis–Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (Py–GC/MS) and Thermally Assisted Hydrolysis [...] Read more.
This work presents strategic multi-analytical investigations performed on “Orange Car Crash” by Andy Warhol in order to make a well-informed conservation decision. For determining the type of binding medium used in the artwork, Pyrolysis–Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (Py–GC/MS) and Thermally Assisted Hydrolysis and Methylation of GC/MS (THM–GC/MS) were employed. The presence of a coating was investigated by Py–GC/MS. Moreover, the comprehension and elucidation of the paint stratigraphy were studied by examining cross-sections of samples taken from both canvases with Optical Microscopy (OM) under reflected visible (Vis) and ultraviolet light (UV) and by Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM–EDX). The investigation of possible synthetic organic pigments (SOPs) and extenders was performed by µ-Raman spectroscopy, while micro-Attenuated Total Reflection of Fourier-Transform Attenuated Total Reflection (µ-ATR–FTIR) allowed us to assign each component detected by Py–GC/MS or THM–GC/MS to a specific layer. The data collected from “Orange Car Crash” show mostly the application of acrylic-based paint as well as alkyd with rosin acids-based ink, thus providing fundamental information about the paint stratigraphy and chemical composition of each layer. In addition to the goal of informing an appropriate conservation–restoration strategy, this work represents a rare scientific study of a work by Andy Warhol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials in Modern-Contemporary Art)
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17 pages, 2035 KiB  
Article
Dibutyl Itaconate and Lauryl Methacrylate Copolymers by Emulsion Polymerization for Development of Sustainable Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives
by Carlos Rafael Casas-Soto, Alain Salvador Conejo-Dávila, Velia Osuna, David Chávez-Flores, José Carlos Espinoza-Hicks, Sergio Gabriel Flores-Gallardo and Alejandro Vega-Rios
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030632 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3250
Abstract
Renewable polymers possess the potential to replace monomers from petrochemical sources. The design and development of polymeric materials from sustainable materials are a technological challenge. The main objectives of this study were to study the microstructure of copolymers based on itaconic acid (IA), [...] Read more.
Renewable polymers possess the potential to replace monomers from petrochemical sources. The design and development of polymeric materials from sustainable materials are a technological challenge. The main objectives of this study were to study the microstructure of copolymers based on itaconic acid (IA), di-n-butyl itaconate (DBI), and lauryl methacrylate (LMA); and to explore and to evaluate these copolymers as pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSA). The copolymer synthesis was carried out through batch emulsion radical polymerization, an environmentally friendly process. IA was used in a small fixed amount as a functional comonomer, and LMA was selected due to low glass transition temperature (Tg). The structure of synthesized copolymers was studied by FTIR, 1H-NMR, Soxhlet extraction, and molecular weight analyses by GPC. Furthermore, the viscoelastic and thermal properties of copolymer films were characterized by DMA, DSC, and TGA. The single Tg displayed by the poly(DBI-LMA-IA) terpolymers indicates that statistical random composition copolymers were obtained. Moreover, FTIR and NMR spectra confirm the chemical structure and composition. It was found that a cross-linked microstructure and higher molecular weight are observed with an increase of LMA in the feed led. The Tg and modulus (G′) of the copolymers film can be tuned with the ratio of DBI:LMA providing a platform for a wide range of applications as a biobased alternative to produce waterborne PSA. Full article
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15 pages, 1915 KiB  
Article
Solar-Driven Unmanned Hazardous and Noxious Substance Trapping Devices Equipped with Reverse Piloti Structures and Cooling Systems
by Ye Jin Kim, Hee Ju Kim, Yu Jin Seo, Ji Hee Choi, Hye Young Koo and Won San Choi
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030631 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
A solar-driven unmanned hazardous and noxious substance (HNS) trapping device that can absorb, evaporate, condense, and collect HNSs was prepared. The HNS trapping device was composed of three parts: a reverse piloti structure (RPS) for absorption and evaporation of HNSs, Al mirrors with [...] Read more.
A solar-driven unmanned hazardous and noxious substance (HNS) trapping device that can absorb, evaporate, condense, and collect HNSs was prepared. The HNS trapping device was composed of three parts: a reverse piloti structure (RPS) for absorption and evaporation of HNSs, Al mirrors with optimized angles for focusing light, and a cooling line system for the condensation of HNSs. The RPS was fabricated by assembling a lower rectangle structure and an upper hollow column. The lower rectangular structure showed a toluene evaporation rate of 6.31 kg/m2 h, which was significantly increased by the installation of the upper hollow column (11.21 kg/m2 h) and led to the formation of the RPS. The installation of Al mirrors on the RPS could further enhance the evaporation rate by 9.1% (12.28 kg/m2 h). The RPS system equipped with an Al mirror could rapidly remove toluene, xylene, and toluene–xylene with high evaporation rates (12.28–8.37 kg/m2 h) and could effectively collect these substances with high efficiencies (81–65%) in an unmanned HNS trapping device. This prototype HNS trapping device works perfectly without human involvement, does not need electricity, and thus is suitable for fast cleanup and collection of HNSs in the ocean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Nano/Bulk-Composites for Air and Water Remediation)
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29 pages, 11295 KiB  
Article
Amorphous Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Composites with High-Aspect Ratio Aluminium Nano Platelets
by Arfat Anis, Ahmed Yagoub Elnour, Abdullah Alhamidi, Mohammad Asif Alam, Saeed M. Al-Zahrani, Fayez AlFayez and Zahir Bashir
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030630 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2264
Abstract
Previously, we reported that amorphous poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) filled with irregular nodular aluminium (Al) particles gave simultaneous increases in tensile modulus, tensile strength, and impact resistance, which is unusual for materials. Here, we investigated the effect of the particle shape and size by [...] Read more.
Previously, we reported that amorphous poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) filled with irregular nodular aluminium (Al) particles gave simultaneous increases in tensile modulus, tensile strength, and impact resistance, which is unusual for materials. Here, we investigated the effect of the particle shape and size by using nano-platelet Al. The Al nano-platelets had a thickness higher than graphenes and clays, but lower than mica and talc, and due to their large widths, they had high aspect ratios. Due to the ductility of Al, the platelets maintained the high aspect ratio and did not snap during injection moulding. In addition to avoiding the usual drop in tensile strength and impact, the composites with nano Al platelets gave an unusually high flexural modulus (8 GPa), which was almost double that attained practically with talc, mica, and graphene. This was because of the high tendency of the Al nano platelets to become oriented during moulding. The Al–PET composite would be a more cost-and-performance effective combination for making conductive composites. The Al is a cheaper material than graphene, surface treatment for adhesion (to PET) is unnecessary, and dispersion issues, such as exfoliation and de-aggregation, are not a problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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20 pages, 14264 KiB  
Article
New Synthesis Routes toward Improvement of Natural Filler/Synthetic Polymer Interfacial Crosslinking
by Mahmoud M. A. Nassar, Belal J. Abu Tarboush, Khalid I. Alzebdeh, Nasr Al-Hinai and Tasneem Pervez
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030629 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2174
Abstract
Among the critical issues dictating bio-composite performance is the interfacial bonding between the natural fibers and polymer matrix. In this regard, this article presents new synthesis routes comprising the treatment and functionalization of both date palm powder (DPP) filler and a polypropylene (PP) [...] Read more.
Among the critical issues dictating bio-composite performance is the interfacial bonding between the natural fibers and polymer matrix. In this regard, this article presents new synthesis routes comprising the treatment and functionalization of both date palm powder (DPP) filler and a polypropylene (PP) matrix to enhance filler–polymer adhesion in the newly developed bio-composites. Specifically, four bio-composite forms are considered: untreated DPP filled PP (DPP-UT/PP), treated DPP filled PP (DPP-T/PP), treated DPP filled functionalized PP using 2-isocyanatoethyl methacrylate (DPP-T/PP-g-IEM), and treated and functionalized DPP using 4-toluenesulfonyl chloride filled functionalized PP using 2-acrylamide ((DPP-T)-g-TsCl/PP-g-AcAm). The functional groups created on the surface of synthesized PP-g-IEM react with activated hydroxyl groups attached to the filler, resulting in chemical crosslinking between both components. Similarly, the reaction of TsCl with NH2 chemical groups residing on the mating surfaces of the filler and polymer generates an amide bond in the interface region. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is used to confirm the successful coupling between the filler and polypropylene matrix after applying the treatment and functionalization schemes. Owing to the introduced crosslinking, the DPP-T/PP-g-IEM bio-composite exhibits the best mechanical properties as compared to the neat polymer, unfunctionalized polymer-based bio-composite, and (DPP-T)-g-TsCl/PP-g-AcAm counterpart. The applied compatibilizers assist in reducing the water uptake of the manufactured bio-composites, increasing their durability. Full article
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20 pages, 24937 KiB  
Article
Soybean Oil-Based Biopolymers Induced by Nonthermal Plasma to Enhance the Dyeing of Para-Aramids with a Cationic Dye
by Caleb Metzcar, Xiaofei Philip Ye, Toni Wang and Christopher J. Doona
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030628 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1857
Abstract
To overcome the recalcitrance of para-aramid textiles against dyeing, this study demonstrated that increasing the functionalities of soybean oil applied to the surface of para-aramids followed by a nonthermal plasma (NTP) treatment improved the dyeing color strength compared with the use of soybean [...] Read more.
To overcome the recalcitrance of para-aramid textiles against dyeing, this study demonstrated that increasing the functionalities of soybean oil applied to the surface of para-aramids followed by a nonthermal plasma (NTP) treatment improved the dyeing color strength compared with the use of soybean oil alone, and that dyeing occurred through covalent bonding. Particularly, compared with the pretreatment using soybean oil that obtained the highest color strength of 3.89 (as K/S value determined from spectral analysis of the sample reflectance in the visible range), the present pretreatments with either acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO) or a mixture of acrylic acid and soybean oil (AA/Soy) achieved K/S values higher than nine (>9.00). The NTP treatment, after the AESO or AA/Soy pretreatment, was essential in inducing the formation of a polymerized network on the surface of para-aramids that bonded the dye molecules and generating covalent bonds that anchored the polymerized network to the para-aramids, which is difficult to achieve given the high crystallinity and chemical inertness of para-aramids. As an important economic consideration, the sequential experimentation method demonstrated that a simple mixture of AA/Soy could replace the expensive AESO reagent and render a comparable performance in dyeing para-aramids. Among the auxiliary additives tested with the AESO and AA/Soy pretreatments followed by NPT treatment in this study, Polysorbate 80 as a surfactant negatively affected the dyeing, benzyl alcohol as a swelling agent had minimal effect, and NaCl as an electrolyte showed a positive effect. The dyeing method developed in this study did not compromise the strength of para-aramids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Textiles)
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16 pages, 5995 KiB  
Article
Revealing the Effect of MnO2, Activated Carbon and MnO2/Activated Carbon on Chitosan Polymer Host Fabricated Co NPs: Antibacterial Performance and Degradation of Organic Compounds
by Hani S. H. Mohammed Ali, Sumiya, Yasir Anwar, Youssef O. Al-Ghamdi, Muhammad Fakieh and Shahid Ali Khan
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030627 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2150
Abstract
MnO2 and MnO2 blended with 1 and 2 weight percent of activated carbon (AC), MnO2/AC1 and MnO2/AC2 were synthesized through the sol–gel method. The pure chitosan (CS) films were cast in the form of films. Similarly, 5 [...] Read more.
MnO2 and MnO2 blended with 1 and 2 weight percent of activated carbon (AC), MnO2/AC1 and MnO2/AC2 were synthesized through the sol–gel method. The pure chitosan (CS) films were cast in the form of films. Similarly, 5 weight% of each MnO2, AC, MnO2/AC1 and MnO2/AC2 was intermingled with the CS to produce different films, such as CS-AC, CS-MnO2, CS-MnO2/AC1 and CS-MnO2/AC2. Zero-valent Co NPs were then supported on these films through the chemical reduction method and expressed as CS@Co, CS-AC@Co, CS-MnO2@Co, CS-MnO2/AC1@Co and CS-MnO2/AC2@Co NPs. All the catalysts were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. The synthesized catalysts were used as a dip catalyst against the hydrogenation of 4-nitrophenol (4NP), and for the degradation of methyl orange (MO) and Congo red (CR) dyes. The kapp and R2 values were deduced from pseudo-first-order kinetics for 4NP and MO and zero-order kinetics for CR dye. The kapp values of CS-AC@Co and CS-MnO2/AC1@Co NPs for 4NP hydrogenation were higher than those for any other member of the series, at 1.14 × 10−1 and 1.56 × 10−1 min−1 respectively. Similarly, the rate of CR degradation was highest with CS-AC@Co. The R2 values for 4NP, MO and CR dyes were above 0.9, which indicated that the application of pseudo-first- and zero-order models were appropriate for this study. Furthermore, the antibacterial activity of all the catalysts was evaluated against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The CS-AC@Co NPs exhibited the highest zone of inhibition compared to other catalysts against P. aeruginosa, while all the catalysts were inactive against E. coli. This study reveals that the catalyst can be used for the degradation of other pollutants and for microbial inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Natural-Based Polymers)
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11 pages, 2561 KiB  
Article
Engineering Characteristics of Cement Composites Containing a Chitosan-Based Polymer and Steel Slag Aggregates
by Se-Jin Choi, Sung-Ho Bae, Hoe Young Choi and Haye Min Ko
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030626 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
Recently, sustainable development has attracted significant global attention. Toward this, several studies have been performed on the development of alternative aggregates for mortar or concrete to prevent environmental damage and rapid depletion of natural aggregates. In this study, we investigated the applicability of [...] Read more.
Recently, sustainable development has attracted significant global attention. Toward this, several studies have been performed on the development of alternative aggregates for mortar or concrete to prevent environmental damage and rapid depletion of natural aggregates. In this study, we investigated the applicability of a chitosan-based polymer (CBP), a biomimetic polymer, to cement mortar using steel slag as a fine aggregate. The CBP was synthesized via an amide coupling reaction among chitosan, 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide hydrochloride, and 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)propionic acid. Upon addition to cement mortar using natural sand or a blast furnace slag aggregate, the CBP contributed toward increasing the compressive strength and tensile strength. However, in mortar mixes using a ferronickel slag aggregate, the tensile strength decreased by ~5.7–25.4% upon CBP addition. Moreover, the CBP reduced the total charge passed through the mixes. In particular, in the mortar mix using the steel slag aggregate, the CBP showed improved chloride-ion penetration resistance. The results showed that the as-prepared CBP was a suitable improving agent and exhibited promising compatibility with cement composites containing steel slag aggregates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Hybrid Composites)
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20 pages, 2240 KiB  
Review
Recent Progress on Bio-Based Polyesters Derived from 2,5-Furandicarbonxylic Acid (FDCA)
by Xuan Fei, Jinggang Wang, Xiaoqin Zhang, Zhen Jia, Yanhua Jiang and Xiaoqing Liu
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030625 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 6165
Abstract
The big challenge today is the upgrading of sustainable materials to replace miscellaneous ones from petroleum resources. Thus, a generic bio-based building block lays the foundation of the huge bio-market to green economy. 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a rigid diacid derived from lignocellulose or [...] Read more.
The big challenge today is the upgrading of sustainable materials to replace miscellaneous ones from petroleum resources. Thus, a generic bio-based building block lays the foundation of the huge bio-market to green economy. 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a rigid diacid derived from lignocellulose or fructose, represents a great potential as a contender to terephthalic acid (TPA). Recently, studies on the synthesis, modification, and functionalization of bio-based polyesters based on FDCA have attracted widespread attention. To apply furanic polyesters on engineering plastics, packaging materials, electronics, etc., researchers have extended the properties of basic FDCA-based homo-polyesters by directional copolymerization and composite preparation. This review covers the synthesis and performance of polyesters and composites based on FDCA with emphasis bedded on the thermomechanical, crystallization, barrier properties, and biodegradability. Finally, a summary of what has been achieved and the issues waiting to be addressed of FDCA-based polyester materials are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of High-Performance Biobased Polyesters)
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14 pages, 3451 KiB  
Article
Soluble Poly(amide-imide)s from Diamide–Diamine Monomer with Trifluoromethyl Groups
by Taejoon Byun, Seong Jong Kim and Sang Youl Kim
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030624 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2486
Abstract
A series of soluble aromatic poly(amide-imide)s (PAIs) was prepared from a new diamide–diamine monomer having biphenyl units with two CF3 groups. The diamide–diamine monomer was polymerized with 2,2′-bis(trifluoromethyl)benzidine and pyromelltic dianhydride through an imidization reaction to prepare PAIs with a controlled imide/amide [...] Read more.
A series of soluble aromatic poly(amide-imide)s (PAIs) was prepared from a new diamide–diamine monomer having biphenyl units with two CF3 groups. The diamide–diamine monomer was polymerized with 2,2′-bis(trifluoromethyl)benzidine and pyromelltic dianhydride through an imidization reaction to prepare PAIs with a controlled imide/amide bond ratio in the main chains. While the PAIs with the highest imide bond content showed a limited solubility, other PAIs were soluble in polar organic solvents and can be solution-cast into flexible freestanding films. All PAIs exhibited high thermal stability with 5% weight loss temperature (Td5) from 464 to 497 °C in air, and no appearance of glass transition up to 400 °C. Notably, the linear coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) value of the PAI films was linearly decreased with the imide bond content and varied from 44.8 to 7.8 ppm/°C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Chemistry)
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18 pages, 4177 KiB  
Article
Rheology and Tack Properties of Biodegradable Isodimorphic Poly(butylene succinate)-Ran-Poly(ε-caprolactone) Random Copolyesters and Their Potential Use as Adhesives
by Aleida J. Sandoval, María Mercedes Fernández, María Virginia Candal, Maryam Safari, Antxon Santamaria and Alejandro J. Müller
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030623 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
The sole effect of the microstructure of biodegradable isodimorphic poly(butylene succinate)-ran-poly(ε-caprolactone) random copolyesters on their rheological properties is investigated. To avoid the effect of molecular weight and temperature, two rheological procedures are considered: the activation energy of flow, Ea, [...] Read more.
The sole effect of the microstructure of biodegradable isodimorphic poly(butylene succinate)-ran-poly(ε-caprolactone) random copolyesters on their rheological properties is investigated. To avoid the effect of molecular weight and temperature, two rheological procedures are considered: the activation energy of flow, Ea, and the phase angle versus complex modulus plots. An unexpected variation of both parameters with copolyester composition is observed, with respective maximum and minimum values for the 50/50 composition. This might be due to the peculiar chain configurations of the copolymers that vary as a function of comonomer distribution within the chains. The same chain configuration variations are responsible for the isodimorphic character of the copolymers in the crystalline state. Tack tests, performed to study the viability of the copolyesters as environmentally friendly hot melt adhesives (HMA), reveal a correlation with rheological results. Tackiness parameters, particularly the energy of adhesion obtained from stress-strain curves during debonding experiments, are enhanced as melt elasticity increases. Based on the carried-out analysis, the link microstructure-rheology-tackiness is established, allowing selecting the best performing HMA sample considering the polymer chemistry of the system. Full article
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11 pages, 5564 KiB  
Article
The Improvement of the Performance of Sky-Blue OLEDs by Decreasing Interface Traps and Balancing Carriers with PSVA Treatment
by Yijun Ning, Suling Zhao, Dandan Song, Bo Qiao, Zheng Xu, Yuxiang Zhou, Junfei Chen, Wageh Swelm and Ahmed Al-Ghamdi
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030622 - 5 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2065
Abstract
The mitigation of interfacial charge accumulation in solution-processed organic light-emitting diodes (s-OLEDs) is an effective method to improve device performance. In this study, the polar solvent vapor annealing (PSVA) method was used to treat two layers in s-OLED, PEDOT:PSS and mCP:DMAC-DPS emitting layers, [...] Read more.
The mitigation of interfacial charge accumulation in solution-processed organic light-emitting diodes (s-OLEDs) is an effective method to improve device performance. In this study, the polar solvent vapor annealing (PSVA) method was used to treat two layers in s-OLED, PEDOT:PSS and mCP:DMAC-DPS emitting layers, separately, to optimize the carrier transmission and balance. After the double-layer PSVA treatment, the current efficiency increased, the lifetime of the device is improved, the efficiency roll-off alleviated from 33.3% to 26.6%, and the maximum brightness increased by 31.3%. It is worth mentioning that the work function of the EML interface reduced by 0.36 eV, and the initial injection voltage of the electrons also reduced. Simulating the solubility of the LUMO and HOMO molecule parts of the mCP and DMAC-DPS, it was found that the LUMO parts had stronger polarity and higher solubility in polar solution than the HOMO parts. By comparing the untreated luminescent layer films, it was found that the PSVA treatment improved the uniformity of the film morphology. We may infer that a more ordered molecular arrangement enhances carrier transport as the LUMO parts tend to be close to the surface and the reduced local state traps on the EML surface promote electron injection. According to the experimental results, the injection of holes and electrons is enhanced from both sides of the EML, respectively, and the charge accumulated at the interface of s-OLEDs is significantly reduced due to the improvement of carrier-transported characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Insight into Liquid/Fluid Interfaces)
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