Deformation Behavior of Cross-Linked Supercrystalline Nanocomposites: An in Situ SAXS/WAXS Study during Uniaxial Compression


With the ever-expanding functional applications of supercrystalline nanocomposites (a relatively new category of materials consisting of organically functionalized nanoparticles arranged into periodic structures), it becomes necessary to ensure their structural stability and understand their deformation and failure mechanisms. Inducing the cross-linking of the functionalizing organic ligands, for instance, leads to a remarkable enhancement of the nanocomposites’ mechanical properties. It is however still unknown how the cross-linked organic phase redistributes applied loads, how the supercrystalline lattice accommodates the imposed deformations, and thus in general what phenomena govern the overall material’s mechanical response. This work elucidates these aspects for cross-linked supercrystalline nanocomposites through an in situ small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering study combined with uniaxial pressing. Because of this loading condition, it emerges that the cross-linked ligands effectively carry and distribute loads homogeneously throughout the nanocomposites, while the superlattice deforms via rotation, slip, and local defects generation.
QR Code: Link to publication