Impact of Nanoconfinement on Polylactide Crystallization and Gas Barrier Properties
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
The barrier properties of poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) were investigated in multinanolayer systems, probing the effect of confinement, the compatibility between the confining and the confined polymer, crystal orientation, and amorphous phase properties. The multilayer coextrusion process was used to confine PLLA between two amorphous polymers (polystyrene, PS; and polycarbonate, PC), which have different chemical affinities with PLLA. Confined PLLA layers of approximately 20 nm thickness were obtained. The multinanolayer materials were annealed at different temperatures to obtain PLLA crystallites with distinct polymorphs. PLLA annealed in PC/PLLA films at 120 °C afforded a crystallinity degree up to 65%, and PLLA annealed in PC/PLLA or PS/PLLA films at 85 °C had a crystallinity degree of 45%. WAXS measurements evidenced that the PLLA lamellas between PS layers had a mixed in-plane and on-edge orientation. PLLA lamellas between PC layers were uniquely oriented in-plane. DMA results evidenced a shift of the PC glass transition toward lower temperature, suggesting the possible presence of an interphase. The development of the rigid amorphous fraction (RAF) in the amorphous phase during annealing was impacted by the confiner polymer. The RAF content of semicrystalline PLLA was about 15% in PC/PLLA, whereas it was neglectable in PS/PLLA. The oxygen barrier properties appeared to be governed by RAF content, and no impact of the PLLA polymorph or the crystalline orientation was observed. This study shows that the confinement of PLLA on itself does not impact barrier properties but that the proper choice of the confiner polymer can lead to decrease the phase coupling which creates the RAF. It is the prevention of RAF that decreases permeability.
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