Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Thermal and rheometric properties of light-emitting nanoparticles for hot-melt extrusion

Olivia N. Goodson, James Madison University


Polymers are not typically used for long distance fiber optic applications due to their higher attenuation rates compared to other fiber optic material, such as glass. The purpose of this study is to observe the effects of low loadings of less than 3% nanoparticles into a polymer matrix on the thermal stability and flow properties for the application of Hot-Melt Extrusion for optical applications. Thermal and rheometric characterization were conducted on polymer nanocomposite samples at various mass loadings of the nanoparticles. Thermal characterization of the polymer nanocomposites revealed a shift in the onset degradation of organic material and high mass losses, which could be due to excess byproduct material from the synthesis of the nanoparticles left in the polymer nanocomposite. The rheological evaluation of the polymer nanocomposites disclosed a decrease in viscosity of 95% with the addition of nanoparticles to the polymer, which translates to less heat and pressure needed for the extrusion process.