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Challenges in the preparation of optical polymer composites with nanosized pigment particles: A review on recent efforts
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Blends of nanosized pigment particles and polymers are widely believed to offer the potential for the design of novel or at least improved materials. This review critically evaluates the recent literature with regard to the following issues: (a) why and how does the size of the particles matter, (b) what are the requirements to create compatibility between amorphous polymers and nanoparticles, (c) carbon allotropes as nanosized pigments, (d) bulk polymerization of monomer/pigment mixtures, (e) interaction of growing chains with the particles in the polymerization, (f) depletion flocculation as a mechanism to counteract homogeneous distribution of the particles in the polymer matrix and ways to suppress the undesirable flocculation, and (g) optical properties of the blends as well as methods of optical characterization.