Polymer-Layered Silicate Nanocomposites From Model Surfactants at High Coverage

Report No. ARL-TR-2742
Authors: Frederick L. Beyer, Arnab Dasgupta, and Mary E. Galvin
Date/Pages: May 2002; 21 pages
Abstract: A series of experiments has been designed and conducted to test a recent model for the morphological behavior of polymer-layered silicate (PLS) nanocomposites, where a PLS nanocomposite is comprised of a homopolymer matrix, layered silicate clay minearl filler, and an organic surfactant modifer. For nearly complete exchange of naturally occurring interlayer cations with model surfactants synthesized for this study, the effect of surfactant length on the morphology of polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites has been examined. Here the surfactant and matrix homopolymer are both based on polystyrene and are therefore expected to be miscible. Small-angle x-ray scattering data show that there was no intercalation of the homopolymer into the modified layered silicate. This finding is consistent with autophobic dewetting such as that which occurs with densely grafted polymer brushes, based on high surfactant coverage within the layered silicate galleries.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2002