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New opportunities for sustainable bioplastic development: Tailorable polymorphic and three-phase crystallization of stereocomplex polylactide by layered double hydroxide

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Stereocomplexation between enantiomeric poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) and poly(D-lactide) (PDLA) is a promising sustainable approach and gaining momentum to overcome the shortcomings of polylactide (PLA) for its use as a replacement for fossil-based plastics. Filler addition in tailoring the crystallization of stereocomplex PLA (SC-PLA) has attracted extensive attention; however, research has primarily focused on the heterogeneous nucleation effect of filler. The impact of filler on the chain behavior of SC-PLA during crystallization has not been exclusively discussed, and the rigid amorphous fraction (RAF) development remains unknown. In this study, the crystallization of PLLA/PDLA blends was modified by low loading of layered double hydroxide (LDH) (≤ 1 wt%) with the proposed local effect of such filler, and additional RAF development was incurred. In the early stage of crystallization, LDH facilitates the pairing of PLLA and PDLA and arrests the ordered SC pairs during the dynamic balance between the separation and pairing of racemic segments. This explains the severely suppressed homochiral (HC) crystallization, promoted SC crystallization, and additional RAF formation driven by the nucleation-induced chain ordering. This work, for the first time, highlights the role of LDH in creating SC-PLA with tailorable polymorphism and RAF, where the mechanism can be extended to other filler-type nucleator systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
IssuePart A
Pages (from-to)1101-1109
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

    Research areas

  • 2D nanoparticle, Nucleation, Polymer nanocomposites, RAF, Thermal fluctuation

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