Carbohydrate Polymers, 2019, vol 208pp. 124-132
Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was incorporated into plasticized cornstarch (TPS), poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and their blends. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to investigate rGO dispersion within the materials. For the TPS/PLA blend at 70:30 composition, the incorporation of rGO led to a larger fraction of small-sized rGO sheets, which at 5.0 mass% content developed stable fractal structures and domains of correlated sheets. The formation of fractal structures resulted in substantial enhancements in macroscopic properties. For these hybrids, the electrical conductivity, melt viscosity, storage moduli and biodegradation rates presented enhancements in relation to the neat blend. For the TPS/PLA blend at 30:70 composition, SAXS results indicated the formation of smaller fractions of well-dispersed rGO sheets and of segregated larger rGO sheets. With rGO at 5 mass% content, less expressive increases in electrical conductivity, melt viscosity, storage moduli and biodegradation rates were observed.