New insight into the structure-property relationships of hybrid (inorganic/organic) POSS™ thermoplastics

S. H. Phillips, R. L. Blanski, S. A. Svejda, T. S. Haddad, A. Lee, J. D. Lichtenhan, F. J. Feher, P. T. Mather, B. S. Hsiao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The demand for multi-purpose, high-performance polymer systems has resulted in a need for advancing polymer properties beyond what traditional systems can offer. Only through control/alteration at the molecular level can one maximize property enhancements to meet current military and commercial needs. Over the last seven years the Air Force Research Laboratory has developed and incorporated discrete Si-O frameworks (POSS = Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes) into traditional organic polymer systems. This research has resulted in new hybrid inorganic-organic polymer systems with remarkable enhancements in mechanical and physical properties including dramatic increases in both glass transition and decomposition temperatures, reduced flammability, increased moduli and oxidation resistance. We have shown that these enhancements result from the chemical composition (Si-O core) and size (∼15 A in diameter) of the POSS frameworks, and can be copolymerized, grafted, or even blended using traditional processing methods. Recently, we have focused our efforts on understanding and controlling the molecular level interactions between POSS frameworks and the polymer matrix. The development of new POSS monomers has allowed us to study how functionality, size, and geometry enhances the bulk properties of these hybrid materials. For example, increasing the solubility of side groups on the POSS framework results in greater POSS-polymer matrix interactions and increased Tg and storage moduli. Recent studies with POSS blends have resulted in increases in hardness, and reductions in dielectric constants and coefficients of thermal expansion. New results in polymer synthesis, characterization, and applications will be discussed with a strong emphasis on the versatility of this new nanotechnology to many polymer systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)CC4.6.1-CC4.6.10
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2000
EventOrganic/Inorganic Hybrid Materials-2000 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 24 2000Apr 28 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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