Nanoscale reinforcement of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) in polyurethane elastomer

Bruce X. Fu, Benjamin S. Hsiao, Henry White, Miriam Rafailovich, Patrick T. Mather, Hong G. Jeon, Shawn Phillips, Joseph Lichtenhan, Joseph Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


A unique class of polyurethane (PU) elastomer containing inorganic molecules (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane, POSS) as molecular reinforcement in the hard segment was investigated by means of wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques. WAXD results indicate that POSS molecules form nanoscale crystals showing distinct reflection peaks. The formation of POSS crystals is probably prompted by the microphase separation between solid-like hard segments and rubbery soft segments in PU. The microphase separation of hard and soft segments was observed by SAXS, which shows a long period of 111 Å for 34wt% POSS-PU and 162 Å for 21 wt% POSS-PU, and hard segment domains with sizes of about 34 Å for both of them. WAXD results from a series of POSS compounds with a corner substituted by a functional group of varying length were compared with POSS-PU, which also confirms the presence of nanoscale POSS crystals in the polymer matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-440
Number of pages4
JournalPolymer International
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Microphase separation
  • Nanocomposites
  • POSS
  • Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane
  • Polyurethane
  • SAXS
  • WAXD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry


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