The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2018, vol 122, 24, pp. 6442-6451
This work reports on the impact of delaminated boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) on the crystallization behavior and crystalline structure of melt-crystallized poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). Wide-angle X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy data revealed that the addition of lower loadings of BNNSs (∼0.5 wt %) resulted in the highly dispersed PLLA nanocomposites, whereas the higher loading of BNNSs (≥1 wt %) leads to the agglomerated nanocomposites. It is shown that the presence of lower loadings of the BNNSs (∼0.5 wt %) induces the formation of ordered α form when crystallizing from the melt at a cooling rate of 10 °C/min, but the mixture of α′ and α forms is formed in the presence of higher loading of BNNSs (≥1 wt %). Polarized optical microscopy images revealed that the crystallization rate of PLLA was significantly enhanced in the presence of lower loading of BNNSs (∼0.5 wt %) as corroborated by the increasing number of tiny spherulites. The strong interaction between the highly dispersed BNNSs and PLLA chains induces the conformationally ordered α form, and the various experimental techniques revealed that crystallization of PLLA occurred rapidly with the narrow distribution of crystal size and degree of crystal perfection in highly dispersed nanocomposites. Furthermore, the thermal conductivity of PLLA/BNNSs nanocomposites was found to increase significantly with BNNSs loading.