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Polymer Degradation and Stability

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XPS studies have been undertaken on exfoliated nanocomposites of polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate). One can clearly see that carbon is lost and that oxygen, silicon and aluminum accumulate at the surface of the degrading polymer. The concentration of aluminum at the surface is very low at the beginning of the experiment but makes a large jump at the same temperature at which carbon is lost and oxygen begins to accumulate at the surface. It appears that the ratio of silicon to aluminum changes as the polymer is lost. A brief discussion is given to explain the origin of oxygen at the surface.


Accepted version. Polymer Degradation and Stability, Vol. 83, No. 1 (January 2004): 29-34. DOI. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. Used with permission.

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