Crystallization of poly(lactic acid) nucleated with the sorbitol TBPMN

F.F.G. Sebek, O.J. Nguon, A. Bartos, M. ten Brinke, M. van Drongelen, H. Gojzewski, J. Lefas, G.J. Vancso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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We report on the crystallization of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) films in the presence of a sorbitol-based nucleating agent; 1,2,3-tridesoxy-4,6:5,7-bis-O-[(4-propylphenyl) methylene]-nonitol (TBPMN). Dispersion of the nucleating agent was performed by solution-mixing and melt-blending. Crystallization behavior was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The structure and morphology were characterized by wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), optical imaging, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). A significant impact of the nucleating agent was observed at or above a threshold concentration of 2 wt%, which was assigned to the solubility limit of TBPMN. The degree of crystallinity reached up to 39.6 % with 2 wt% TBPMN. An influence of the dispersion method was observed on the peak temperature of crystallization (Tcp). While Tcp decreased slightly for solution-mixed films, a sigmoidal trend was noted for melt-blended samples. Under isothermal conditions at 100 °C, the crystallization half-time was lowered from 6.5 min to 1.0 min. Avrami analysis pointed to the formation of 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional crystalline domains; WAXS data revealed α- and α'-crystals, depending on the dispersing method. AFM imaging showed a nanosized fibrillar network of the nucleator within the PLA matrix, demonstrating that TBPMN acted as a soluble self-assembly nucleator.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108322
JournalPolymer testing
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Crystallinity
  • Nucleating agents
  • Poly(lactic acid)
  • Atomic force microscopy


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