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A simple and environmentally friendly method for surface modification of ZrO2 nanoparticles by biosafe citric acid as well as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and its application for the preparation of poly(vinyl chloride) nanocomposite films

In this investigation, poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) as one of the most important thermoplastic polymer was combined with different concentrations (4, 8, and 12 wt%) of ZrO2 nanoparticles (NPs) with the purpose of preparing novel nanocomposites (NCs). To prevent aggregation and obtain homogeneous dispersion of the NPs in the polymer matrix, surface modification of ZrO2 was performed by biosafe, biodegradable as well as biocompatible modifiers such as citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) due to their ability to form chelates with metal oxides. The effect of modified ZrO2 on the properties of the PVC was studied by different techniques. The field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy results indicated that the modified NPs were dispersed homogeneously in the polymer matrix. UV–Vis spectroscopy was used to study optical behaviors of the obtained NCs. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated that the thermal stability of the polymer was enhanced after incorporation with NPs. Finally, mechanical test was revealed that the NC films were more flexible when compared with the neat polymer

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