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Nanoamorphous Polymers with Metals


New Nanoscale Metal- Containing Polymeric Compounds on the Basis of Structure-less (Amorphous) Metals and their Derivatives

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-ALL/High Performance Metals and Alloys/Materials
  • CHE-POL/Polymer Chemistry/Chemistry
  • MAN-TRI/Tribology/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials
  • MAT-ELE/Organic and Electronics Materials/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
NPO Atom, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Yerevan Institute "Plastpolymer", Armenia, Yerevan


  • Drexel University, USA, PA, Philadelphia\nImperial College London / Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology, UK, London\nInstitut de Ciencia de Materials de Barcelona, Spain, Bellaterra\nLaval University / Center for Optics, Photonics, and Lasers, Canada, QC, Quebec City\nIowa State University / College of Engineering, USA, IA, Ames\nVirginia Commonwealth University / High Technology Materials Center, USA, VA, Richmond\nUniversity of Calgary / Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Canada, AB, Calgary\nUniversity of Southern Mississippi / Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, USA, MS, Hattiesburg\nCenter for Tribology, Inc., USA, CA, Campbell

Project summary

Today, the nano-scale world of metal-containing polymers is an intensively developing part of science and industry that has spread to most areas of chemistry, material sciences, etc. Besides their utilization in numerous areas of industry, nano metals particles contribute to the development of biological polymeric systems, that are more and more approximate "living systems "/2/.

Metal- containing initiators are used to polymerize several classes of comonomers, and this is one of the main directions of polymers synthesis. On the other hand the availability of metals and /or their complex compounds in a polymeric matrix results in very unique effects that promotes new polymers properties. In both cases considerable effects are expected while using the nano-scale metals and their derivatives.

During the last 15-20 years SPE "ATOM" (Yerevan, Armenia) pioneered in developing nano-scale structure-less (amorphous) metals of Mo, W, Ti and their oxides, as well as other amorphous compounds by employing unique quantum - chemical non-equilibrium technology. The part of these researches was carried out within the framework of the previous ISTC projects A-139 and A-1092.

At the same time the team of the scientists of the Yerevan Institute "Plastpolymer" for many years is engaged in studies on the synthesis and usage of (co) polymers by using various initiating systems, including metals of variable valency /7-8/. This part of study has been conducted within the framework of the ISTC projects A -183 and A-359.

The proposed Project includes an application for the first time synthesized new amorphous transition metals and their derivatives for two main purposes, such as:

  1. Nanoparticle fillers for polymers for industrial application as new antifriction materials.
  2. Nanoparticle metal catalysts (initiators) for copolymerization of number specific comonomers.

The development of new polymer systems for commercial applications during last years as well as many other achievements by the authors of this Project in these areas are the basis for proposed research.

The following results of the previous projects and the data in current publications demonstrate the importance of the proposed Project:

Investigations of tribological properties of samples made from polymers of a various chemical structure (the copolymer of formaldehyde and dioxolan (CFD), and the polyphenylene sulphide (PPS)) with amorphous fillers have been conducted. The fillers used were: a) amorphous molybdenum with particle size of 5 nm, and b) amorphous MoO2 with particle size of 5 nm. The results obtained demonstrated a) significant (up to12 times) decrease of wear intensity as well as friction coefficient and b) dependence of these effects on the chemical nature and properties of the polymeric matrix itself. [These results are confirmed by similar tests at high load conducted in the laboratories of State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) and Iowa State University].

Amorphous Mo and MoO2 have been used as co-catalyst at bulk polymerization of vinylacetate /12/. Study of reaction kinetics has shown acceleration of process rate and its dependence on co-catalyst concentration. At the same time a conductivity of synthesized polymers have sharply increased (by 3-4 order).

These are preliminary results. However, for specific applications these amorphous metals composites need further and in-depth research in order to develop new amorphous products and to study their behavior in specific applications. Therefore the Project results will provide new insights in creating new metal-containing systems and will be the basis for new perspective direction for the creation of nano metal-containing polymer products with predefined properties.

The scientific novelty of this Project is:

  • Preparation of new nano-scale metals and their derivatives
  • The investigation of the effect of these nano-metals on the polymer synthesis and properties of polymer compositions.
  • Application of structure -less (amorphous) metal components for the creation of polymeric composites with high tribological properties.
  • The investigation of the influence of amorphous components on the self-lubrication mechanism of the nanometal – filled composites.
  • Principal novelty is the development of new unique hybrid structures using a combination of organic polymers with nano-scale self-organizing inorganic “polymer-like" structures (chains).

The tasks of the Project
  • Develop new amorphous metals and their amorphous derivatives, such as oxides, halogens, etc.
  • Study of these products as initiators for various comonomers polymerization.
  • Develop new technology for copolymers production and to examine their characteristics and properties.
  • Obtaining new polymeric compounds utilizing these new amorphous nano-metals.
  • Study the tribological, mechanical and physical properties of these new materials as well as those that they provide to other materials.

Objective of the Project is the creation of new amorphous metals and their derivatives and study of their application as
  • Initiating systems for copolymerization of different comonomers and
  • Components for the new unique metal-containing polymeric compositions.

Expected Results and Their Application


  • The study of amorphous metals as new state of substance.
  • The application of the phenomenon of self-organization of inorganic nano-materials during the synthesis process of organic polymer compounds.
  • The study of initiating properties of new amorphous metals and their derivatives for different comonomers copolymerization (vinylacetate, styrene, methylacrylate, carboxylcontaining comonomers).
  • Examination of characteristics and properties of new polymers.
  • The study of the behavior of obtained polymers in well-known and new applications.

Creation of a new basis (as amorphous metals and their derivatives) in nano-technology
Development of the technological processes for polymer synthesis with new properties.
Development of new materials for tribological (and other) purposes.


  • The project results will provide new commercial products and applications as well as scientific know-how in developing new products.
  • The new nano-metal technology will provide opportunities for more rapid integration of the nano-products into the industrial sector.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives

The Project will allow scientists that were earlier engaged in weapons development, to carry out scientific research for peaceful purposes.

The scope and the level of the proposed research require an international cooperation of scientists (first involving collaborators) and laboratories conducting similar studies.

The Project includes fundamental researches of a new state of substance and applied researches in area of nano-technology that will be breakthrough technology in development of principally new metal-containing polymeric materials for peaceful purposes.

The marketing studies at the very beginning of the Project will be an evaluation for the potential of proposed "products" from the point of view of the market acceptability. For each product, a niche will be identified and appropriate steps will be taken towards commercialization.

Scope of Activities

  • Development of the new amorphous metals Fe, Ni, Co and their derivatives (such as oxides, halogens, etc.).
  • Study of their catalytic activity in comparison with known systems.
  • Improvement of non-equilibrium technology of amorphous metals production to increase productivity and purity of synthesized powders.
  • Using these results to synthesize copolymers from a number of comonomers (including obtaining of AF polyformaldehide, polysterene, polymethylmethacrylate).
  • Development of compounds with amorphous fillers based both on well-known as well as new synthesized polymers. Examination of self-lubricating and anti-frictional properties of new composites.

Role of Foreign Collaborators/Partners
  • Exchanging scientific results through joint discussions, joint publications
  • Examination of some copolymer characteristics with advanced methods by collaborators.
  • Joint tests of newly synthesized nano-amorphous products.

Technical Approach and Methodology
  • Quantum-chemical technology of treatment of nanosize crystalline powders of metal oxides.
  • Methods of researching of physical properties of nanosize crystalline structures.
  • Methods of transmission electron microscopy.
  • Copolymers will be synthesized with specific comonomers using special initiators and reaction conditions.
  • Copolymers will be characterized by analytical, chemical methods and advanced spectroscopy techniques.
  • Mechanism of self-lubricating of antifriction materials will be investigated on SMC-2, ShM-01M friction testing instrumentation.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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