Polymer nanocomposites are materials with very interesting properties and applications, and their development has increased significantly during the last years. The most important nanoparticles for nanocomposite applications are nanoclays, which may improve many properties of polymers, according to their degree of dispersion within the matrix. Among the polymers used as matrices of nanocomposites there are the block copolymers, which form materials with interesting properties, due to their nanoscale phase separation resulting from block immiscibility. However, there are relatively few studies of nanocomposites of block copolymers in the literature. The clay dispersed in nanoscale may directly interact with block domains, which have the same order of magnitude, changing the morphology and properties of the copolymer. The aim of this Post-Doctoral Project is to study the morphology and rheology of these nanocomposites, which may be prepared by different techniques. The morphology will be studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). These materials also have complex rheological properties, both in the linear and nonlinear viscoelastic regimes. These properties may be related to the microstructure of the nanocomposites and govern their processing behavior. Therefore, one of the main subjects of this research project is the rheological study of the nanocomposites. This project will also have a very important role within the Thematic Project of FAPESP 2006/02634-3, strengthening the nanocomposites research in the group. In this Post-Doctoral Project the candidate will continue the research he began during his Ph.D., and he will also help other students in their projects. Besides the use of the group’s laboratory facilities, part of the research will be done in the Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron in Campinas, and in the Laboratório de Microscopia Eletrônica of the Chemistry Institute of Unicamp, with the collaboration of Prof. Dr. Maria do Carmo Gonçalves.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: