Robust interface on ENR-50/TiO2 nanohybrid material based sol-gel technique: Insights into synthesis, characterization and applications in optical
Omar, S. Dahham
Nik Noriman, Zulkepli
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In this work, the sol–gel technique was used to prepare a new organic–inorganic hybrid from Epoxidized Natural Rubber (ENR-50) and Titanium dioxide (TiO2) by blending different content of titania precursors (10, 30, and 50 wt%) with an ENR-50 matrix. A wide range of analyses was conducted to understand the nature of this hybrid and also to evaluate its potential uses in applications required high refractive index such as micro optical and optoelectronic devices. Results indicated that the ring-opening reaction of epoxide groups in ENR-50 increased with the increase of titania content in the hybrid resulting a strong bonding between titania and ENR-50 through TiOC bond, which was observed in FTIR spectrum at 1027–1028 cm−1. It is also observed a slight decrease in the intensity of the amorphous peak along with a new crystalline peak appeared at 2θ = 23 and 27° due to the crystalline nature of titania. The hybrids showed three thermal degradation steps in the range of temperature 76 to 769 °C due to the existence of the Ti moieties with the mixture of polymer chains, which in turn shifted the Tg at 24.3, 26.9 and 28.1 °C for the hybrid at 10, 30, and 50 wt% TiO2 compared to the Tg of ENR-50 at −18.4 °C respectively. The morphology of the ENR-50 showed clear changes during of the synthesis of ENR-50/TiO2 hybrids, these changes were proven by SEM, TEM, and AFM analyses. Uv–Vis results showed that the higher wavelength peak at 293 nm has shifted to 296, 298 and 300 nm for the hybrid at 10, 30, and 50 wt% TiO2 respectively due to the strong interaction between titania precursors and ENR-50 matrix. Furthermore, the hybrids showed good optical transparency in the visible light range.