Elemental Analysis of a Heterogeneous Polymeric System by EDS: Detection of the Compatibilizer Agent Containing Si Atoms and Silver Nano-Particles (AgNP´s) in High Impact Polystyrene
High impact polystyrene (HIPS) is considered a heterogeneous polymeric system and is constituted by a disperse phase of rubber particles within a continuous phase formed by a polystyrene (PS) matrix. During the synthesis of HIPS, PS is formed whereas some PS chains become chemically bonded to polybutadiene (PB) chains, resulting in a PB-g-PS copolymer, which decreases the interfacial tension between both incompatible phases, acting as a compatibilizer. In this study, 2 HIPS systems were evaluated by energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). In the first case, a HIPS composite was analyzed by EDS to locate the graft copolymer species containing Si atoms, which were previously synthesized by anionic polymerization using chloro-silane chemistry. The graft copolymer was incorporated to the HIPS synthesis from the beginning of the reaction in order to provide an improvement on the rubber phase stability. The graft copolymer was located at the interphase between the PS occlusions and the PB subdomains of the rubber particles. In the second case, HIPS was synthesized incorporating silver nanoparticles (AgNP´s) during the polymerization reaction, where the system can exhibit different types of morphology of the elastomeric phase (micelles, lamellas and core-shell). These structures overlapped the AgNP´s in the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images, thus resulting this technique to be inadequate to establish the location of the AgNP´s. In this context EDS was used to evaluate the location and distribution of the AgNP´s by means of the elemental composition analysis. AgNP´s were preferentially detected in the PS phase as bigger clusters.
Arturo Ponce and Darío Bueno
F. Soriano et al., "Elemental Analysis of a Heterogeneous Polymeric System by EDS: Detection of the Compatibilizer Agent Containing Si Atoms and Silver Nano-Particles (AgNP´s) in High Impact Polystyrene", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 644, pp. 21-24, 2010