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PMMA/zinc oxide nanocomposites prepared by in-situ bulk polymerization
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Dispersing surface-modified zinc oxide nano-particles (ZnO) in methyl methacrylate (MMA) improves the free radical bulk polymerization process as well as the thermal stability of the formed polymer. Hydroxy groups available on the ZnO surface may induce a degenerative transfer. This suppresses the gel effect, which leads to a better control of the heat evolution during the late stages of polymerization. The formation of chains having vinylidene end groups and head-to-head links is suppressed, which shifts the onset of thermal decomposition to the regime where decomposition occurs by random chain scission.