Zirconia (ZrO2) nanoparticles were synthesized by hydrolysis and condensation of zirconium-n-propoxide (ZNP) in 1-propanol at the presence of methacrylic acid (MA), serving as a chelating agent for ZNP. The formed nanoparticles were chemically modified by the UV-curable coupling agent, 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate (MSMA). The modified particles were then crosslinked with the hexa-functional monomer, dipentaerythritol hexaacrylate (DPHA), to produce transparent antistatic hard coatings on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) substrates. Sizes of the modified particles, as determined by the dynamic light scattering technique, fell over a small range of 2–20 nm. Chemical analyses of the particles and the coatings were performed using FTIR and/or solid 29SiNMR spectroscopy. Surface resistivities of the coatings were measured, and the results indicated that with inclusion of 10 wt % modified zirconia, surface resistivity of ∼109 Ω/sq could be achieved, which amounted to ∼6 order magnitude lower than that of the particle-free polymeric binder. Furthermore, this antistatic coating was very hard with pencil hardness of 8–9H, and attached perfectly to the PMMA substrate according to the peel test.
Journal of Applied Polymer Science 132(33), pp.42411(6 pages)