Using the sol-gel process organic-inorganic hybrids consisting of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) covalently bonded to different inorganic phases (TiO2, ZrO2 and CeO2) will be synthesized aiming to obtain multifunctional hybrids systems that combine properties such as high mechanical strength, thermal stability, photocatalytic activity and excellent anticorrosive characteristics. The first part of the project aims the sol-gel synthesis of the inorganic phases and characterization by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The second part involves the synthesis of hybrids from radical polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) with the coupler agent 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (2-HEMA), and subsequent addition of different fractions of the inorganic phase. The hybrids will be deposited by dip-coating on aluminum alloy, carbon steel and stainless steel substrates. The structural characterization will be performed by SAXS, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and TEM. For thermal analysis hermogravimetry (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) will be applied, and to study the optical properties UV-Vis spectroscopy will be used. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) will be applied to evaluate the anti-corrosion efficiency of the coatings after long-term exposure in aggressive environment. Photocatalytic tests of the PMMA-TiO2 system will be conducted by degradation of a model dye using UV radiation and sunlight. The mechanical characterization by nanoindentation and analysis of UV radiation stability of the hybrids will be realized in an internship abroad.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: