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Polymers, Volume 15, Issue 16 (August-2 2023) – 164 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Nowadays, many efforts have been made to decrease environmental pollution and climate change. The current research has been focused on promoting alternative energy sources such as eolic, photovoltaic, geothermal, and so on. In this framework, the research has also addressed the development of smart technologies that are able to reduce energy consumption while maintaining the same performance. The electrochromic technologies shown here, if applied to the glazing of the buildings, could aid in reducing the energy consumption of the edifices. Turning on these electrochromic devices will remove the need to use heaters and conditioners, thus saving energy. View this paper
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56 pages, 2650 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Applications of Oxidases and Peroxidases Polymer-Based Enzyme Biocatalysts in Sensing and Wastewater Treatment: A Review
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3492; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163492 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Oxidase and peroxidase enzymes have attracted attention in various biotechnological industries due to their ease of synthesis, wide range of applications, and operation under mild conditions. Their applicability, however, is limited by their poor stability in harsher conditions and their non-reusability. As a [...] Read more.
Oxidase and peroxidase enzymes have attracted attention in various biotechnological industries due to their ease of synthesis, wide range of applications, and operation under mild conditions. Their applicability, however, is limited by their poor stability in harsher conditions and their non-reusability. As a result, several approaches such as enzyme engineering, medium engineering, and enzyme immobilization have been used to improve the enzyme properties. Several materials have been used as supports for these enzymes to increase their stability and reusability. This review focusses on the immobilization of oxidase and peroxidase enzymes on metal and metal oxide nanoparticle-polymer composite supports and the different methods used to achieve the immobilization. The application of the enzyme-metal/metal oxide-polymer biocatalysts in biosensing of hydrogen peroxide, glucose, pesticides, and herbicides as well as blood components such as cholesterol, urea, dopamine, and xanthine have been extensively reviewed. The application of the biocatalysts in wastewater treatment through degradation of dyes, pesticides, and other organic compounds has also been discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Hybrid Polymeric Composites)
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20 pages, 1184 KiB  
Review
Customizing Starch Properties: A Review of Starch Modifications and Their Applications
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3491; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163491 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4317
Abstract
Starch has been a convenient, economically important polymer with substantial applications in the food and processing industry. However, native starches present restricted applications, which hinder their industrial usage. Therefore, modification of starch is carried out to augment the positive characteristics and eliminate the [...] Read more.
Starch has been a convenient, economically important polymer with substantial applications in the food and processing industry. However, native starches present restricted applications, which hinder their industrial usage. Therefore, modification of starch is carried out to augment the positive characteristics and eliminate the limitations of the native starches. Modifications of starch can result in generating novel polymers with numerous functional and value-added properties that suit the needs of the industry. Here, we summarize the possible starch modifications in planta and outside the plant system (physical, chemical, and enzymatic) and their corresponding applications. In addition, this review will highlight the implications of each starch property adjustment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modification and Application of Starch-Based Polymers)
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12 pages, 2901 KiB  
Article
Construction of a Bis(benzene sulfonyl)imide-Based Single-ion Polymer Artificial Layer for a Steady Lithium Metal Anode
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3490; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163490 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Dendrite growth and parasitic reactions with liquid electrolyte are the two key factors that restrict the practical application of the lithium metal anode. Herein, a bis(benzene sulfonyl)imide based single-ion polymer artificial layer for a lithium metal anode is successfully constructed, which is prepared [...] Read more.
Dendrite growth and parasitic reactions with liquid electrolyte are the two key factors that restrict the practical application of the lithium metal anode. Herein, a bis(benzene sulfonyl)imide based single-ion polymer artificial layer for a lithium metal anode is successfully constructed, which is prepared via blending the as-prepared copolymer of lithiated 4, 4′-dicarboxyl bis(benzene sulfonyl)imide and 4,4′-diaminodiphenyl ether on the surface of lithium foil. This single-ion polymer artificial layer enables compact structure with unique continuous aggregated Li+ clusters, thus reducing the direct contact between lithium metal and electrolyte simultaneously, ensuring Li+ transport is fast and homogeneous. Based on which, the coulombic efficiency of the Li|Cu half-cell is effectively improved, and the cycle stability of the Li|Li symmetric cell can be prolonged from 160 h to 240 h. Surficial morphology and elemental valence analysis confirm that the bis(benzene sulfonyl)imide based single-ion polymer artificial layer effectively facilitates the Li+ uniform deposition and suppresses parasitic reactions between lithium metal anode and liquid electrolyte in the LFP|Li full-cell. This strategy provides a new perspective to achieve a steady lithium metal anode, which can be a promising candidate in practical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte: Recent Progress and Applications)
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18 pages, 6273 KiB  
Article
Controlling Shear Rate for Designable Thermal Conductivity in Direct Ink Printing of Polydimethylsiloxane/Boron Nitride Composites
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3489; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163489 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 820
Abstract
Efficient heat dissipation is vital for advancing device integration and high-frequency performance. Three-dimensional printing, famous for its convenience and structural controllability, facilitates complex parts with high thermal conductivity. Despite this, few studies have considered the influence of shear rate on the thermal conductivity [...] Read more.
Efficient heat dissipation is vital for advancing device integration and high-frequency performance. Three-dimensional printing, famous for its convenience and structural controllability, facilitates complex parts with high thermal conductivity. Despite this, few studies have considered the influence of shear rate on the thermal conductivity of printed parts. Herein, polydimethylsiloxane/boron nitride (PDMS/BN) composites were prepared and printed by direct ink writing (DIW). In order to ensure the smooth extrusion of the printing process and the structural stability of the part, a system with 40 wt% BN was selected according to the rheological properties. In addition, the effect of printing speed on the morphology of BN particles during 3D printing was studied by XRD, SEM observation, as well as ANSYS Polyflow simulation. The results demonstrated that increasing the printing speed from 10 mm/s to 120 mm/s altered the orientation angle of BN particles from 78.3° to 35.7°, promoting their alignment along the printing direction due to the high shear rate experienced. The resulting printed parts accordingly exhibited an impressive thermal conductivity of 0.849 W∙m−1∙K−1, higher than the 0.454 W∙m−1∙K−1 of the control sample. This study provides valuable insights and an important reference for future developments in the fabrication of thermal management devices with customizable thermal conductivity. Full article
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11 pages, 3789 KiB  
Article
Re-Assemblable, Recyclable, and Self-Healing Epoxy Resin Adhesive Based on Dynamic Boronic Esters
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3488; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163488 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
Thermosetting adhesives are commonly utilized in various applications. However, covalent cross-linked networks prevent thermosetting adhesives from being re-assembled, which necessitates higher machining precision. Additionally, the primary raw materials used in adhesive preparation are derived from non-renewable petroleum resources, which further constrain adhesive development. [...] Read more.
Thermosetting adhesives are commonly utilized in various applications. However, covalent cross-linked networks prevent thermosetting adhesives from being re-assembled, which necessitates higher machining precision. Additionally, the primary raw materials used in adhesive preparation are derived from non-renewable petroleum resources, which further constrain adhesive development. In this study, a recyclable adhesive was developed by incorporating dynamic boronic esters into epoxy resin derived from soybean oil. The successful synthesis of epoxidized soybean oil and boronic esters was confirmed through the analysis of proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectra and differential scanning calorimetry results. Swelling tests and tensile curves demonstrated the presence of covalently cross-linked networks. Self-healing and reprocessing experiments indicated that the cross-linked network topology could be re-assembled under mild conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Polymers: Preparation, Characterization and Applications)
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12 pages, 1652 KiB  
Article
Reactive Blending of Modified Thermoplastic Starch Chlorhexidine Gluconate and Poly(butylene succinate) Blending with Epoxy Compatibilizer
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3487; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163487 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
Biodegradable starch-based polymers were developed by melt-blending modified thermoplastic starch (MTPS) with poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) blended with epoxy resin (Er). A modified thermoplastic starch blend with chlorhexidine gluconate (MTPSCh) was prepared by melt-blending cassava starch with glycerol and chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) 1.0% wt. [...] Read more.
Biodegradable starch-based polymers were developed by melt-blending modified thermoplastic starch (MTPS) with poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) blended with epoxy resin (Er). A modified thermoplastic starch blend with chlorhexidine gluconate (MTPSCh) was prepared by melt-blending cassava starch with glycerol and chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) 1.0% wt. The Er was melt-blended with PBS (PBSE) at concentrations of 0.50%, 1.0%, 2.5%, and 5.0% (wt%/wt%). The mechanical properties, water resistance, and morphology of the MTPSCh/PBSE blends were investigated. The MTPSCh/PBSE2.5% blend showed an improvement in tensile strength (8.1 MPa) and elongation at break (86%) compared to the TPSCh/PBS blend (2.6 MPa and 53%, respectively). In addition, water contact angle measurements indicated an increase in the hydrophobicity of the MTPSCh/PBSE blends. Thermogravimetric analysis showed an improvement in thermal stability when PBS was added to the MTPSCh blends. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy data confirmed a new reaction between the amino groups of CHG in MTPSCh and the epoxy groups of Er in PBSE, which improved the interfacial adhesion of the MTPSCh/PBSE blends. This reaction improved the mechanical properties, water resistance, morphology, and thermal stability of the TPSCh/PBSE blends. Full article
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19 pages, 8587 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Comparative Study of Polyether-b-polybutadiene-b-polyether Triblock Copolymers for Use as Polyurethanes
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3486; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163486 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
In this paper, the effects of HTPBs with different main-chain microstructures on their triblock copolymers and polyurethane properties were investigated. Three polyether-modified HTPB triblock copolymers were successfully synthesized via a cationic ring-opening copolymerization reaction using three HTPBs with different microstructures prepared via three [...] Read more.
In this paper, the effects of HTPBs with different main-chain microstructures on their triblock copolymers and polyurethane properties were investigated. Three polyether-modified HTPB triblock copolymers were successfully synthesized via a cationic ring-opening copolymerization reaction using three HTPBs with different microstructures prepared via three different polymerization methods as the macromolecular chain transfer agents and tetrahydrofuran (THF) and propylene oxide (PO) as the copolymerization monomers. Finally, the corresponding polyurethane elastomers were prepared using the three triblock copolymers as soft segments and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) as hard segments. The results of an analysis of the triblock copolymers showed that the triblock copolymers had lower viscosity and glass transition temperature (Tg) values as the HTPB 1,2 structure content decreased, although the effect on the thermal decomposition temperature was not significant. An analysis of the polyurethane elastomers revealed that as the content of the 1,2 structure in HTPB increased, its corresponding polyurethane elastomers showed a gradual increase in breaking strength and a gradual decrease in elongation at break. In addition, PU-1 had stronger crystallization properties compared to PU-2 and PU-3. However, the differences in the microstructures of the HTPBs did not seem to have much effect on the surface properties of the polyurethane elastomers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Composites)
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29 pages, 1587 KiB  
Review
Chitosan Nanoparticles for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3485; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163485 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2129
Abstract
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic ailment that results from the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn and acid regurgitation. This review explores nanotechnology as a novel treatment approach for GERD. Chitosan nanoparticles (CSNPs) offer several advantages, including [...] Read more.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic ailment that results from the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn and acid regurgitation. This review explores nanotechnology as a novel treatment approach for GERD. Chitosan nanoparticles (CSNPs) offer several advantages, including biocompatibility, biodegradability, and targeted drug delivery capabilities. CSNPs have been extensively studied due to their ability to encapsulate and release medications in a controlled manner. Different nanoparticle (NP) delivery systems, including gels, microspheres, and coatings, have been developed to enhance drug retention, drug targeting, and controlled release in the esophagus. These nanoparticles can target specific molecular pathways associated with acid regulation, esophageal tissue protection, and inflammation modulation. However, the optimization of nanoparticle formulations faces challenges, including ensuring stability, scalability, and regulatory compliance. The future may see CSNPs combined with other treatments like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or mucosal protectants for a synergistic therapeutic approach. Thus, CSNPs provide exciting opportunities for novel GERD treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers: Isolation, Modification, and Applications)
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15 pages, 4674 KiB  
Article
Microbeam X-ray Reanalysis on Periodically Assembled Poly(β-Hydroxybutyric acid-Co-β-hydroxyvaleric acid) Tailored with Diluents
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3484; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163484 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Self-assembly of 3D interiors and iridescence properties of poly(β-hydroxybutyric acid-co-β-hydroxyvaleric acid) (PHBV) periodic crystals are examined using microcopy techniques and microbeam X-ray diffraction. Morphology of PHBV can be tailored by crystallizing in presence of poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc) or poly(trimethylene adipate) (PTA) for displaying [...] Read more.
Self-assembly of 3D interiors and iridescence properties of poly(β-hydroxybutyric acid-co-β-hydroxyvaleric acid) (PHBV) periodic crystals are examined using microcopy techniques and microbeam X-ray diffraction. Morphology of PHBV can be tailored by crystallizing in presence of poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc) or poly(trimethylene adipate) (PTA) for displaying desired periodicity patterns. The regular alternate-layered lamellae of banded PHBV crystal aggregates, resembling the structures the natural mineral moonstone or nacre, are examined to elaborate the origin of light interference and formation mechanisms of periodic lamellar aggregation of PHBV spherulites. By using PHBV as a convenient model and the crystal diffraction data, this continuing work demonstrates unique methodology for effectively studying the periodic assembly in widely varying polymers with similar aggregates. Grating structures in periodically assembled polymer crystals can be tailored for microstructure with orderly periodicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Physics and Theory)
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16 pages, 3999 KiB  
Article
Self-Vibration of Liquid Crystal Elastomer Strings under Steady Illumination
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3483; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163483 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
Self-vibrating systems based on active materials have been widely developed, but most of the existing self-oscillating systems are complex and difficult to control. To fulfill the requirements of different functions and applications, it is necessary to construct more self-vibrating systems that are easy [...] Read more.
Self-vibrating systems based on active materials have been widely developed, but most of the existing self-oscillating systems are complex and difficult to control. To fulfill the requirements of different functions and applications, it is necessary to construct more self-vibrating systems that are easy to control, simple in material preparation and fast in response. This paper proposes a liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) string–mass structure capable of continuous vibration under steady illumination. Based on the linear elastic model and the dynamic LCE model, the dynamic governing equations of the LCE string–mass system are established. Through numerical calculation, two regimes of the LCE string–mass system, namely the static regime and the self-vibration regime, are obtained. In addition, the light intensity, contraction coefficient and elastic coefficient of the LCE can increase the amplitude and frequency of the self-vibration, while the damping coefficient suppresses the self-oscillation. The LCE string–-mass system proposed in this paper has the advantages of simple structure, easy control and customizable size, which has a wide application prospect in the fields of energy harvesting, autonomous robots, bionic instruments and medical equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling and Simulation of Polymer Composites)
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19 pages, 4031 KiB  
Article
3D Printing Soft Magnet: Binder Study for Vat Photopolymerization of Ferrosilicon Magnetic Composites
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3482; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163482 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) masking is a 3D printing technique that can produce soft magnetic composite parts to high resolution and complexity for robotics and energy electronics applications. This additive manufacturing technique has the potential to produce larger, lighter-weight, more efficient, and more [...] Read more.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) masking is a 3D printing technique that can produce soft magnetic composite parts to high resolution and complexity for robotics and energy electronics applications. This additive manufacturing technique has the potential to produce larger, lighter-weight, more efficient, and more durable parts for automotive and mechanical applications. This study conducted a binder study to create a low-viscosity and stiff binder capable of loading at least 60 v/v% Fe-6.5 wt%Si particles. Percolation Theory was applied to anticipate the magnetic interaction of suspended particles. A series of binders were formulated, with adjustments to diluent ratios. The behavior of the binders was assessed by studying their rheological properties, conversion rates, and mechanical properties. A post-cure study was conducted across various energy settings using UV, thermal, and a combination of both energy sources to find the combination that provided the best mechanical properties. As a result, 64 v/v% Fe-6.5 wt%Si loading was achieved and cured using UV light of 405 nm wavelength. Vibrating Sample Spectroscopy (VSM) was used to characterize the composite’s magnetic behavior, and a significant increase in saturation magnetization and negligible change in coercivity was observed when the added load exceeded the percolation threshold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D/4D Printing for Polymer Composites)
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19 pages, 1271 KiB  
Review
Potential Application of Yeast Cell Wall Biopolymers as Probiotic Encapsulants
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3481; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163481 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2070
Abstract
Biopolymers of yeast cell walls, such as β-glucan, mannoprotein, and chitin, may serve as viable encapsulants for probiotics. Due to its thermal stability, β-glucan is a suitable cryoprotectant for probiotic microorganisms during freeze-drying. Mannoprotein has been shown to increase the adhesion of probiotic [...] Read more.
Biopolymers of yeast cell walls, such as β-glucan, mannoprotein, and chitin, may serve as viable encapsulants for probiotics. Due to its thermal stability, β-glucan is a suitable cryoprotectant for probiotic microorganisms during freeze-drying. Mannoprotein has been shown to increase the adhesion of probiotic microorganisms to intestinal epithelial cells. Typically, chitin is utilized in the form of its derivatives, particularly chitosan, which is derived via deacetylation. Brewery waste has shown potential as a source of β-glucan that can be optimally extracted through thermolysis and sonication to yield up to 14% β-glucan, which can then be processed with protease and spray drying to achieve utmost purity. While laminarinase and sodium deodecyle sulfate were used to isolate and extract mannoproteins and glucanase was used to purify them, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide precipitation was used to improve the amount of purified mannoproteins to 7.25 percent. The maximum chitin yield of 2.4% was attained by continuing the acid–alkali reaction procedure, which was then followed by dialysis and lyophilization. Separation and purification of yeast cell wall biopolymers via diethylaminoethyl (DEAE) anion exchange chromatography can be used to increase the purity of β-glucan, whose purity in turn can also be increased using concanavalin-A chromatography based on the glucan/mannan ratio. In the meantime, mannoproteins can be purified via affinity chromatography that can be combined with zymolase treatment. Then, dialysis can be continued to obtain chitin with high purity. β-glucans, mannoproteins, and chitosan-derived yeast cell walls have been shown to promote the survival of probiotic microorganisms in the digestive tract. In addition, the prebiotic activity of β-glucans and mannoproteins can combine with microorganisms to form synbiotics. Full article
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12 pages, 6709 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Characterization of Biomass Tannin-Based Flexible Foam Insoles for Athletes
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3480; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163480 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 868
Abstract
The exploitation of bio-based foams implies an increase in the use of renewable biological resources to reduce the rapid consumption of petroleum-derived resources. Both tannins and furfuryl alcohol are derived from forestry resources and are, therefore, considered attractive precursors for the preparation of [...] Read more.
The exploitation of bio-based foams implies an increase in the use of renewable biological resources to reduce the rapid consumption of petroleum-derived resources. Both tannins and furfuryl alcohol are derived from forestry resources and are, therefore, considered attractive precursors for the preparation of tannin–furanic foams. In addition, toughening modification of tannin–furanic foams using polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) results in a more flexible network-like structure, which imparts excellent flexibility to the foams, whose relative properties are even close to those of polyurethane foams, which are the most used for fabrication of insoles for athletes. In addition, the addition of PVOH does not affect the thermal insulation properties of the foams by testing the thermal conductivity, resilience, and elongation at break, while reducing the brittleness of the samples and improving the mechanical properties. Also, the observation of the morphology of the foam shows that the compatibility between PVOH and tannin–furanic resin is good, and the cured foam does not show fragmentation and collapse, while the bubble pore structure is uniform. The developed flexible foam derived from biomass resources endows the foam with good thermal insulation properties and high mechanical properties, and the samples exhibit suitable physical parameters to be used as flexible insoles for athletes. Full article
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11 pages, 2415 KiB  
Article
Acoustic Impedance Evaluation of the Polymer–Polymer Hybrid Composites as Insulator Building Materials
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163479 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Acoustic energy dissipates in multi-phase or multi-boundary materials. Hybrid composites are described as multi-phase with many interfaces between their materials. The current research proposes the study of the acoustic behavior of polymeric hybrid composites by estimating the time, velocity, and hybrid composite acoustic [...] Read more.
Acoustic energy dissipates in multi-phase or multi-boundary materials. Hybrid composites are described as multi-phase with many interfaces between their materials. The current research proposes the study of the acoustic behavior of polymeric hybrid composites by estimating the time, velocity, and hybrid composite acoustic impedance. Two groups of hybrid composites were prepared, including unsaturated polyester with PMMA, except one with HDPE and the other with PS. Each group had 28%, 35%, and 40% weight fractions. An ultrasonic test measured the time to determine the velocity and then the acoustic impedance later. The results showed that increasing the weight fraction will increase the density with respect to the density of the reinforcing material. Different ultrasonic times were obtained with increasing weight fractions. As the weight fraction of PS increased, the time increased; unlike the velocity, it decreased but increased with density. In contrast, this behavior was changed if the hybrid had PE. The highest acoustic impedance was at 28% UP/PMMA + PS. In conclusion, UP/PMMA + PS can dissipate ultrasonic waves more than UP/PMMA + PE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites)
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17 pages, 7056 KiB  
Article
The Performance and Synthesis of Alkynyl−Functionalized Benzoxazine Containing Phthalide Side Groups and Cyano Groups with Different Molecular Weights
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163478 - 20 Aug 2023
Viewed by 819
Abstract
Benzoxazine resins are widely employed in a variety of applications due to their exceptional heat resistance and treatment properties. However, traditional benzoxazine resins still confront hurdles in today’s engineering applications, such as their inability to provide long-term service in high-temperature settings and their [...] Read more.
Benzoxazine resins are widely employed in a variety of applications due to their exceptional heat resistance and treatment properties. However, traditional benzoxazine resins still confront hurdles in today’s engineering applications, such as their inability to provide long-term service in high-temperature settings and their inadequate toughness. In this study, four alkyne-functionalized benzoxazines with phthalide side groups and cyano groups of varying molecular weights were produced. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and hydrogen nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR) were used to characterize the resin structure, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to investigate the thermal curing kinetics at different warming rates. The apparent activation energy was 116.9 kJ/mol. In-situ FT-IR was used to investigate the cure mechanism. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) was used to evaluate the gelation time of BOZ series resins at various temperatures, and the curing process was designed by combining the results with DSC. The Tg of the composites made using BOZ-1N21 as the matrix was 336 °C, which was much higher than the Tg of the BP-a resin made with aniline, phenolphthalein, and formaldehyde (Tg = 251 °C). As a result, the resin system is expected to be employed in applications requiring high-temperature resistance and toughness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Processing and Engineering)
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19 pages, 3636 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study of ZnO-and-TiO2-Nanoparticles-Functionalized Polyvinyl Alcohol/Chitosan Bionanocomposites for Multifunctional Biomedical Applications
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3477; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163477 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
This study aimed to synthesize chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol (CS/PVA)-based zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) hybrid bionanocomposites (BNCs) and observe their comparative accomplishment against the skin cancer cell line, A431, and antioxidant potential. CS was blended with PVA to form polymeric [...] Read more.
This study aimed to synthesize chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol (CS/PVA)-based zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) hybrid bionanocomposites (BNCs) and observe their comparative accomplishment against the skin cancer cell line, A431, and antioxidant potential. CS was blended with PVA to form polymeric films reinforced with the immobilization of ZnO and TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs), separately. The optimization of the BNCs was done via physicochemical studies, viz. moisture content, swelling ratio, and contact angle measurements. The free radical scavenging activity was observed for 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl, and the antibacterial assay against the Escherichia coli strain showed a higher zone of inhibition. Furthermore, the anticancer activity of the synthesized BNCs was revealed against the skin cancer cell line A431 under varying concentrations of 50, 100, 150, 200, and 300 μg/mL. The anticancer study revealed a high percent of cancerous cell inhibition (70%) in ZnO BNCs as compared to (61%) TiO2 BNCs in a dose-dependent manner. Full article
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14 pages, 6492 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Dissolving Pulp by Combined Mechanical and Deep Eutectic Solvent Treatment
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3476; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163476 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Grasses are potential candidate to replace wood as a raw material for pulping and paper making, and several processes have been developed to produce grass pulp. In this study, wheat straw was used as raw material, and the possibility of sequential treatment with [...] Read more.
Grasses are potential candidate to replace wood as a raw material for pulping and paper making, and several processes have been developed to produce grass pulp. In this study, wheat straw was used as raw material, and the possibility of sequential treatment with a mechanical method and deep eutectic solvent (DES) to prepare high-quality dissolving pulp was explored. Firstly, the wheat straw was mechanically treated, and then the wheat straw was delignified using a choline chloride–lactic acid deep eutectic solvent. The results showed that the optimal treatment conditions of deep eutectic solvent were 110 °C, 6 h, and a solid–liquid ratio (ratio of pulp to DES) of 1:40. The removal rate of lignin was 82.92%, the glucose content of pulp was increased by 11.42%. The DES recovery rate was further calculated, and the results showed that the DES recovery rate was more than 50% with rotary evaporation. The pulp viscosity after bleaching was 472 mL/g, and the α-cellulose accounted for 81.79%. This treatment has advantages in biomass refining, and the total utilization rate of wheat straw reaches 72%. This study confirmed that combined mechanical and deep eutectic solvent treatment can effectively remove lignin from wheat straw to produce high-quality wheat straw dissolving pulp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose Based Composites)
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22 pages, 11187 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Physical Properties on the Membrane Morphology Formation during the Nonisothermal Thermally Induced Phase Separation Process
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3475; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163475 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 793
Abstract
The physical properties of a polymer solution that are composition- and/or temperature-dependent are among the most influential parameters to impact the dynamics and thermodynamics of the phase separation process and, as a result, the morphology formation. In this study, the impact of composition- [...] Read more.
The physical properties of a polymer solution that are composition- and/or temperature-dependent are among the most influential parameters to impact the dynamics and thermodynamics of the phase separation process and, as a result, the morphology formation. In this study, the impact of composition- and temperature-dependent density, heat capacity, and heat conductivity on the membrane structure formation during the thermally induced phase separation process of a high-viscosity polymer solution was investigated via coupling the Cahn–Hilliard equation for phase separation with the Fourier heat transfer equation. The variations of each physical property were also investigated in terms of different boundary conditions and initial solvent volume fractions. It was determined that the physical properties of the polymer solution have a noteworthy impact on the membrane morphology in terms of shorter phase separation time and droplet size. In addition, the influence of enthalpy of demixing in this case is critical because each physical property showed a nonhomogeneous pattern owing to the heat generation during phase separation, which in turn influenced the membrane morphology. Accordingly, it was determined that investigating spinodal decomposition without including heat transfer and the impact of physical properties on the morphology formation would lead to an inadequate understanding of the process, specifically in high-viscosity polymer solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Membrane Separation: Fabrication and Applications)
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20 pages, 25518 KiB  
Article
Development of a Low-Shrinkage-Lightweight Engineered Cementitious Composite Based on Heavily Doped Zeolites
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3474; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163474 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 720
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a growing utilization of lightweight engineered cementitious composites (LECC) for the reinforcement and restoration of contemporary building structures. This study focuses on the incorporation of zeolite, serving as an internal reservoir for moisture maintenance, and examines its [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a growing utilization of lightweight engineered cementitious composites (LECC) for the reinforcement and restoration of contemporary building structures. This study focuses on the incorporation of zeolite, serving as an internal reservoir for moisture maintenance, and examines its impact on various performance indicators, including apparent density, compressive strength, tensile strength, and autogenous shrinkage. Additionally, the influence of zeolite on the tensile and ductile properties of LECC is elucidated with the aid of scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The findings reveal that the addition of zeolite enables the preservation of excellent mechanical properties of LECC while further reducing its density. Notably, the introduction of a substantial amount of zeolite leads to a decrease in matrix density, average crack width, and ultimate tensile strain. The ultimate tensile strain exceeds 8% to reach 8.1%, while the decrease in compressive and tensile strengths is marginal. Zeolite’s internal curing capability facilitates the complete hydration of unhydrated cement, concurrently alleviating the autogenous shrinkage of LECC. Consequently, the durability and reliability of the material are enhanced. The ability of zeolite, with its porous framework structure, to significantly improve the ultimate tensile strain of the matrix can be attributed to the amplified occurrence of active defects and a shift in the pull-out mode of PE fibers from “pull-out” to “pull-through”. This study presents a promising alternative material in the field of engineering, holding potential for diverse building and infrastructure projects, as it enhances their durability and reliability. Full article
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25 pages, 1561 KiB  
Review
Hyaluronic Acid—Extraction Methods, Sources and Applications
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3473; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163473 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2444
Abstract
In this review, a compilation of articles in databases on the extraction methods and applications of hyaluronic acid (HA) was carried out. HA is a highly hydrated component of different tissues, including connective, epithelial, and neural. It is an anionic, linear glycosaminoglycan (GAG) [...] Read more.
In this review, a compilation of articles in databases on the extraction methods and applications of hyaluronic acid (HA) was carried out. HA is a highly hydrated component of different tissues, including connective, epithelial, and neural. It is an anionic, linear glycosaminoglycan (GAG) primarily found in the native extracellular matrix (ECM) of soft connective tissues. Included in the review were studies on the extraction methods (chemical, enzymatical, combined) of HA, describing advantages and disadvantages as well as news methods of extraction. The applications of HA in food are addressed, including oral supplementation, biomaterials, medical research, and pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry applications. Subsequently, we included a section related to the structure and penetration routes of the skin, with emphasis on the benefits of systems for transdermal drug delivery nanocarriers as promoters of percutaneous absorption. Finally, the future trends on the applications of HA were included. This final section contains the effects before, during, and after the application of HA-based products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable and Natural Polymers II)
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14 pages, 4282 KiB  
Review
Preparation and Characterization of Activated Carbon/Polymer Composites: A Review
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3472; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163472 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1374
Abstract
Activated carbon (AC) and activated carbon fibers (ACFs) are materials with a large specific surface area and excellent physical adsorption properties due to their rich porous structure, and they are used as electrode materials to improve the performance of adsorbents or capacitors. Recently, [...] Read more.
Activated carbon (AC) and activated carbon fibers (ACFs) are materials with a large specific surface area and excellent physical adsorption properties due to their rich porous structure, and they are used as electrode materials to improve the performance of adsorbents or capacitors. Recently, multiple studies have confirmed the applicability of AC/polymer compo-sites in various fields by exploiting the unique physical and chemical properties of AC. As the excellent mechanical properties, stability, antistatic and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding functions of activated carbon/polymer composite materials were confirmed in recent studies, it is expected that activated carbon can be utilized as an ideal reinforcing material for low-cost polymer composite materials. Therefore, in this review, we would like to describe the fabrication, characterization and applicability of AC/polymer composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites)
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21 pages, 8659 KiB  
Article
Suitability of MRF Recovered Post-Consumer Polypropylene Applications in Extrusion Blow Molded Bottle Food Packaging
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3471; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163471 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1669
Abstract
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most abundant plastics used due to its low price, moldability, temperature and chemical resistance, and outstanding mechanical properties. Consequently, waste from plastic materials is anticipated to rapidly increase with continually increasing demand. When addressing the global problem [...] Read more.
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most abundant plastics used due to its low price, moldability, temperature and chemical resistance, and outstanding mechanical properties. Consequently, waste from plastic materials is anticipated to rapidly increase with continually increasing demand. When addressing the global problem of solid waste generation, post-consumer recycled materials are encouraged for use in new consumer and industrial products. As a result, the demand is projected to grow in the next several years. In this study, material recovery facility (MRF)-recovered post-consumer PP was utilized to determine its suitability for extrusion blow molded bottle food packaging. PP was sorted and removed from mixed-polymer MRF-recovered bales, ground, trommel-washed, then washed following the Association of Plastics Recyclers’ protocols. The washed PCR-PP flake was pelletized then manually blended with virgin PP resin at 25%, 50%, 75, and 100% PCR-PP concentrations and fed into the extrusion blow molding (EBM) machine. The EBM bottles were then tested for physical performance and regulatory compliance (limits of TPCH: 100 μg/g). The results showed an increased crystallization temperature but no practical difference in crystallinity as a function of PCR-PP concentrations. Barrier properties (oxygen and water vapor) remained relatively constant except for 100% MRF-recovered PCR-PP, which was higher for both gas types. Stiffness significantly improved in bottles with PCR-PP (p-value < 0.05). In addition, a wider range of N/IAS was detected in PCR-PP due to plastic additives, food additives, and degradation byproducts. Lastly, targeted phthalates did not exceed the limits of TPCH, and trace levels of BPA were detected in the MRF PCR-PP. Furthermore, the study’s results provide critical information on the use of MRF recovered in food packaging applications without compromising performance integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Polymers in Food Sciences)
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12 pages, 5642 KiB  
Article
High-Performance Reversible Furan–Maleimide Resins Based on Furfuryl Glycidyl Ether and Bismaleimides
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3470; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163470 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Two reversible furan–maleimide resins, in which there are rigid -Ph-CH2-Ph- structures and flexible -(CH2)6- structures in bismaleimides, were synthesized from furfuryl glycidyl ethers (FGE), 4,4′-diaminodiphenyl ether (ODA), N,N’-4,4′-diphenylmethane-bismaleimide (DBMI), and N,N′-hexamethylene-bismaleimide (HBMI). The [...] Read more.
Two reversible furan–maleimide resins, in which there are rigid -Ph-CH2-Ph- structures and flexible -(CH2)6- structures in bismaleimides, were synthesized from furfuryl glycidyl ethers (FGE), 4,4′-diaminodiphenyl ether (ODA), N,N’-4,4′-diphenylmethane-bismaleimide (DBMI), and N,N′-hexamethylene-bismaleimide (HBMI). The structures of the resins were confirmed using Fourier transform infrared analysis, and the thermoreversibility was evidenced using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis, as well as the sol-gel transformation process. Mechanical properties and recyclability of the resins were preliminarily evaluated using the flexural test. The results show the Diels–Alder (DA) reaction occurs at about 90 °C and the reversible DA reaction occurs at 130–140 °C for the furan–maleimide resin. Thermally reversible furan–maleimide resins have high mechanical properties. The flexural strength of cured FGE-ODA-HBMI resin arrives at 141 MPa. The resins have a repair efficiency of over 75%. After being hot-pressed three times, two resins display flexural strength higher than 80 MPa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
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15 pages, 1987 KiB  
Article
Benzothiazole Derivatives of Chitosan and Their Derived Nanoparticles: Synthesis and In Vitro and In Vivo Antibacterial Effects
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3469; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163469 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
In this work, we focused on synthesizing and assessing novel chitosan-based antibacterial polymers and their nanoparticles by incorporating benzothiazole substituents. The growing resistance to antibiotics has necessitated the search for alternative antimicrobial compounds. This study aimed to synthesize and evaluate chitosan-based polymers and [...] Read more.
In this work, we focused on synthesizing and assessing novel chitosan-based antibacterial polymers and their nanoparticles by incorporating benzothiazole substituents. The growing resistance to antibiotics has necessitated the search for alternative antimicrobial compounds. This study aimed to synthesize and evaluate chitosan-based polymers and nanoparticles with benzothiazole substituents for their antibacterial properties and toxicity. The benzothiazole derivatives of chitosan and their nanoparticles were synthesized through electrochemical coupling. The in vivo antibacterial efficacy was tested on white rats with induced peritonitis using a microbial suspension containing S. aureus and E. coli. Additionally, in vitro and in vivo toxicity assessments were conducted. The chitosan-based antibacterial systems showed significant in vivo antibacterial activity, surpassing that of unmodified chitosan and commercial antibiotics. Moreover, the toxicity studies revealed low toxicity levels of the synthesized derivatives, which did not differ significantly from native chitosan. The synthesized chitosan-based polymers and nanoparticles demonstrated potent antibacterial activity and low toxicity, highlighting their potential as effective alternatives to traditional antibiotics. Further investigations in pharmacology and preclinical trials are recommended to explore their application in clinical settings. Full article
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21 pages, 3255 KiB  
Article
Laboratory Studies about Microplastic Aging and Its Effects on the Adsorption of Chlorpyrifos
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3468; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163468 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1105
Abstract
The constant change in microplastics (MP) due to exposure to environmental conditions leads to physical and chemical changes that enhance their ability to transport other pollutants, increasing the concern about their widespread presence in the environment. This work aimed to simulate the aging [...] Read more.
The constant change in microplastics (MP) due to exposure to environmental conditions leads to physical and chemical changes that enhance their ability to transport other pollutants, increasing the concern about their widespread presence in the environment. This work aimed to simulate the aging process of six MP (polyamide 6, unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, low-density polyethylene, polystyrene, polyethylene-co-vinyl acetate, polypropylene) in freshwater and seawater ecosystems at laboratory scale and evaluate its effects through optical microscope observation, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR), Raman spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Through a combined experimental study of aged MP, the degradation by UV interaction was evidenced by the appearance of new infrared bands in the FTIR spectra assigned to ketones and hydroxyl groups. While Raman analysis and microscope images reveal the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and roughness in the MP surfaces. Variations in the temperature of the maximum weight loss of the MP were observed in the TGA analysis. The adsorption of chlorpyrifos (CPF), a common pesticide widely used in agriculture, by the pristine and aged MP was also studied. The highest affinity for CPF was observed for pristine LDPE and the lowest for PP. The batch adsorption studies revealed an increase in adsorption capacity as a consequence of the aging process for both MP. These results proved that the weathering effects caused changes in the behavior of MP, namely in the interaction with other pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Circular and Green Polymer Science)
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20 pages, 3142 KiB  
Article
The Re-/Up-Cycling of Wood Waste in Wood–Polymer Composites (WPCs) for Common Applications
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3467; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163467 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Wood–polymer composites (WPCs) are a class of materials intensively studied and promoted in the context of sustainable development, mainly when aspects related to the increasing awareness of environmental issues and waste management are considered. Feasible opportunities for producing WPCs with value-added properties intended [...] Read more.
Wood–polymer composites (WPCs) are a class of materials intensively studied and promoted in the context of sustainable development, mainly when aspects related to the increasing awareness of environmental issues and waste management are considered. Feasible opportunities for producing WPCs with value-added properties intended for common applications emerge when polymers, either synthetic or from renewable resources, raw or waste, are employed in re-/up-cycling approaches. In this context, some examples of easily achievable WPCs are presented herein, namely, formulations based on different wood waste and polymer matrices (synthetic: polypropylene and malleated polypropylene as a compatibilizer; natural: plasticized starch). Their level of performance was assessed through different characterization methods (FTIR, WAXD, TGA, DSC, mechanical test, etc.). The benefits and limitations of this approach are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Waste-Based Composites)
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25 pages, 5939 KiB  
Review
From Nature to Lab: Sustainable Bacterial Cellulose Production and Modification with Synthetic Biology
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3466; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163466 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4886
Abstract
Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a macromolecule with versatile applications in medicine, pharmacy, biotechnology, cosmetology, food and food packaging, ecology, and electronics. Although many bacteria synthesize BC, the most efficient BC producers are certain species of the genera Komagataeibacter and Novacetimonas. These are [...] Read more.
Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a macromolecule with versatile applications in medicine, pharmacy, biotechnology, cosmetology, food and food packaging, ecology, and electronics. Although many bacteria synthesize BC, the most efficient BC producers are certain species of the genera Komagataeibacter and Novacetimonas. These are also food-grade bacteria, simplifying their utilization at industrial facilities. The basic principles of BC synthesis are known from studies of Komagataeibacter xylinus, which became a model species for studying BC at genetic and molecular levels. Cellulose can also be of plant origin, but BC surpasses its purity. Moreover, the laboratory production of BC enables in situ modification into functionalized material with incorporated molecules during its synthesis. The possibility of growing Komagataeibacter and Novacetimonas species on various organic substrates and agricultural and food waste compounds also follows the green and sustainable economy principles. Further intervention into BC synthesis was enabled by genetic engineering tools, subsequently directing it into the field of synthetic biology. This review paper presents the development of the fascinating field of BC synthesis at the molecular level, seeking sustainable ways for its production and its applications towards genetic modifications of bacterial strains for producing novel types of living biomaterials using the flexible metabolic machinery of bacteria. Full article
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14 pages, 9094 KiB  
Article
Influence of Diabase Filler on the Structure and Tribological Properties of Coatings Based on Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3465; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163465 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 683
Abstract
This article presents the results of a study of a composite coating made of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) with a diabase filler obtained by flame spraying. Diabase of 10 wt.%, 20 wt.%, 30 wt.% and 40 wt.% was chosen as a filler. [...] Read more.
This article presents the results of a study of a composite coating made of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) with a diabase filler obtained by flame spraying. Diabase of 10 wt.%, 20 wt.%, 30 wt.% and 40 wt.% was chosen as a filler. The polymer coating was applied to the St3 metal substrate using temperature control in a conventional flame spraying process. The coating was studied using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray phase analysis, infrared spectroscopy, abrasive wear resistance, microhardness testing and determination of the friction coefficient. It has been shown that diabases do not have a negative effect on the initial chemical structure of UHMWPE and it is not subjected to destruction during flame spraying. The introduction of diabase into the composition of UHMWPE with a content of 10–40% of the total mass does not adversely affect the crystalline structure of the coating. It has been established that with an increase in the volume of the diabase filler, the wear resistance of the composite coating based on UHMWPE increases. It has been determined that with the addition of diabase, the microhardness of the coatings increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Processing and Engineering)
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42 pages, 19037 KiB  
Article
On Recovery of a Non-Negative Relaxation Spectrum Model from the Stress Relaxation Test Data
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3464; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163464 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 602
Abstract
The relaxation spectra, from which other material functions used to describe mechanical properties of materials can be uniquely determined, are important for modeling the rheological properties of polymers used in chemistry, food technology, medicine, cosmetics, and many other industries. The spectrum, being not [...] Read more.
The relaxation spectra, from which other material functions used to describe mechanical properties of materials can be uniquely determined, are important for modeling the rheological properties of polymers used in chemistry, food technology, medicine, cosmetics, and many other industries. The spectrum, being not directly accessible by measurement, is recovered from relaxation stress or oscillatory shear data. Only a few models and identification methods take into account the non-negativity of the real spectra. In this paper, the problem of recovery of non-negative definite relaxation spectra from discrete-time noise-corrupted measurements of relaxation modulus obtained in the stress relaxation test is considered. A new hierarchical identification scheme is developed, being applicable both for relaxation time and frequency spectra. Finite-dimensional parametric classes of models are assumed for the relaxation spectra, described by a finite series of power-exponential and square-exponential basis functions. The related models of relaxation modulus are given by compact analytical formula, described by the products of power of time and the modified Bessel functions of the second kind for the time spectrum, and by recurrence formulas based on products of power of time and complementary error functions for frequency spectrum. The basis functions are non-negative. In result, the identification task was reduced to a finite-dimensional linear-quadratic problem with non-negative unknown model parameters. To stabilize the solution, an additional smoothing constraint is introduced. Dual approach was used to solve the stated optimal identification task resulting in the hierarchical two-stage identification scheme. In the first stage, dual problem is solved in two levels and the vector of non-negative model parameters is computed to provide the best fit of the relaxation modulus to experiment data. Next, in second stage, the optimal non-negative spectrum model is determined. A complete scheme of the hierarchical computations is outlined; it can be easily implemented in available computing environments. The model smoothness is analytically studied, and the applicability ranges are numerically examined. The numerical studies have proved that using developed models and algorithm, it is possible to determine non-negative definite unimodal and bimodal relaxation spectra for a wide class of polymers. However, the examples also demonstrated that if the basis functions are non-negative and the model is properly selected for a given type of the real spectrum (unimodal, multimodal), the optimal model determined without non-negativity constraint can be non-negative in the dominant range of its arguments, especially in the wide neighborhood of the spectrum peaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Time-Dependent Mechanical Behavior of Polymers and Polymer Composites)
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11 pages, 2618 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Gas-Sensing Properties in Poly(triarylamine) Field-Effect Transistors by Device and Interface Engineering
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3463; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163463 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the gas-sensing mechanism in bottom-gate organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) using poly(triarylamine) (PTAA). A comparison of different device architectures revealed that the top-contact structure exhibited superior gas-sensing performance in terms of field-effect mobility and sensitivity. The thickness of the [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the gas-sensing mechanism in bottom-gate organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) using poly(triarylamine) (PTAA). A comparison of different device architectures revealed that the top-contact structure exhibited superior gas-sensing performance in terms of field-effect mobility and sensitivity. The thickness of the active layer played a critical role in enhancing these parameters in the top-contact structure. Moreover, the distance and pathway for charge carriers to reach the active channel were found to significantly influence the gas response. Additionally, the surface treatment of the SiO2 dielectric with hydrophobic self-assembled mono-layers led to further improvement in the performance of the OFETs and gas sensors by effectively passivating the silanol groups. Under optimal conditions, our PTAA-based gas sensors achieved an exceptionally high response (>200%/ppm) towards NO2. These findings highlight the importance of device and interface engineering for optimizing gas-sensing properties in amorphous polymer semiconductors, offering valuable insights for the design of advanced gas sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials in Sensors, Actuators and Energy Conversion II)
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