A b s t r a c t
Few if any reports exist that elucidate the phenomena that take place in the microwave-assist polymerization
(MAP) of heterogeneous multi-component systems to form polymer nanohybrid composites.
We elucidate the four distinct steps that take place during the in-situ MAP of Nylon-6 from ε-caprolactam
and 6-aminocaproic in the presence of graphite oxide (GrO), which results in the formation of a reduced
graphene oxide Nylon-6 nanohybrid in a one-step synthesis; exfoliation, reduction take place in <60 s;
polymerization occurs after 60 s; hybridization during both periods. An increase in molecular weight and
conversion of non-grafted Nylon-6 during hybridization takes place unlike in conventional in-situ polymerizations
of Nylon-6/GrO where reduction of the MW is observed. It is also shown for the first time
that the crystallization of grafted Nylon-6 in the hybrid exists in both a and g phases. The grafted
molecules represent 50wt % of the hybrid.