Effect of Titanate-Based Surface on Hydrophilicity and Interlayer Spacing of Montmorillonite Clay for Polymer Nanocomposites

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The fundamental scientific investigations on structure-property correlation of organo-clay are quite valuable in understanding the interface chemistry thus to design and engineer the most effective polymer-clay nanocomposites systems. Organo alkyl-titanate derivatives have been used as reagents for the surface modification of pristine montmorillonite clay platelets. Such surface modification is validated through coordinated characterization techniques that include X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), contact angle measurements, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA). By fine-tuning the surface characteristics (controlling the hydrophilicity); effective nanodispersion in polymers by intercalation or delamination can be accomplished. The titanate-coupling agent increased the water contact angle of the clay from 6 to 44 denoting significant decrease in hydrophilicity. Similarly, XRD studies revealed the increased inter-gallery spacing from 9.8 to 12.7 Å. The grafting of titanate modifier on to clay surface is quantified through XPS elemental analysis and co-related with TGA. This new surface-modification method provides an effective technique to convert the hydrophilic surface of the montmorillonite clay into organophillic for polymer-clay nanocomposites.
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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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