A study of porosity of synthetic polymer nanoparticles using PALS

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Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) has been used to study the free volume in dry synthetic polymer nanoparticles of various sizes. A series of poly(styrene/divinyl benzene) particles with diameters in the range of 100 to 500 nm were synthesized and then carefully chemically treated using the sulfonation process, to increase their porosity. The particles were characterised by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), light scattering and PALS. Light scattering gave larger size for the treated particles, reflecting the hydration effect and therefore the increase in porosity. PALS spectra of untreated and treated particles gave four and three life-time components, respectively. Analysis by PAScual version 1.3.0 program indicated there was a reduction in the intensity and the type of the micropores in the treated particles. The data suggest PALS is a sensitive tool for detecting changes in microporosity in particles. The conflicting results obtained for light scattering compared to PALS for chemically treated particles is difficult to resolve and suggests sample preparation of polymeric materials for PALS is the critical factor.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event12th International Workshop on Slow Positron Beam Techniques - Magnetic Island, North Queensland, Australia
Duration: 1 Aug 20106 Aug 2010


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