The incorporation of nanoparticles into polymers is a design approach that is used in many areas of materials science. The concept is attractive because it enables the creation of materials with new or improved properties by mixing multiple constituents and exploiting synergistic effects. One important technological thrust is the development of structural materials with improved mechanical and thermal characteristics. Equally intriguing is the possibility to design functional materials with unique optical or electronic properties, catalytic activity or selective permeation. The broad technological exploitation of polymer nanocomposites is, however, stifled by the lack of effective methods to control nanoparticle dispersion. We report a simple and versatile process for the formation of homogeneous polymer/nanofibre composites. The approach is based on the formation of a three-dimensional template of well-individualized nanofibres, which is filled with any polymer of choice. We demonstrate that this template approach is broadly applicable and allows for the fabrication of otherwise inaccessible nanocomposites of immiscible components.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics