Preparation of polystyrene/montmorillonite nanocomposites using a new radical initiator-montmorillonite hybrid via in situ intercalative polymerization

  • Uthirakumar P
  • Nahm K
  • Hahn Y
 et al. 
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Polystyrene/montmorillonite (PS/MMT) nanocomposites were prepared by in situ free radical intercalative polymerization, using 1, 3 and 5 wt% of a new cationic radical initiator-MMT hybrid. The corresponding nanocomposites were designated as PS/MMT-1, PS/MMT-3 and PS/MMT-5, respectively. The silicate layers were well exfoliated and randomly dispersed in the PS/MMT-1 and PS/MMT-3, but were less exfoliated in the PS/MMT-5, due to the predominant extra-gallery polymerization over the intra-gallery polymerization. The unique properties of nanocomposites resulted from the strong interactions between the nano-sized silicate layer surfaces and the polymer chains. The onset temperature of thermal degradation, and the glass transition temperature, increased with increasing hybrid content, up to 3 wt%. The molecular weights of the PS in the PS/MMT-1 and PS/MMT-3 were less than those calculated theoretically, due to the predominant intra-gallery polymerization. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Extra-gallery polymerization
  • Intra-gallery polymerization
  • Montmorillonite
  • Nanocomposites
  • Polystyrene

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