polymer nanocomposites from natural clay: understanding clay-PEG interactions and their effect on spacing between clay-plates



The interactions between clay-plates and hydrophilic polymer are investigated assuming that the polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains are grafted onto face-to-face clay-plates. Besides the usual van der Waals attractive interaction, the clay-plates experience a repulsive effective interaction, due to the excluded volume force between monomers along the grafted PEG chains. The face-to-face clay-plates then play the role of polymer brushes. The free energy (per unit area) of a clay-plate pair is the sum of these interactions, and from its expression, we determine the minimal inter-sheet distance, after intercalation, which corresponds to a critical percentage of PEG. Finally, our result is in good agreement with some recent experimental work.


natural clay, nanocomposites, PEG, intercalation

Full Text:



Ray, S.S, andOakamoto, M,2003, Polymer/layered silicate nanocomposites: A review from preparation to processing, J. Progress in Polymer Science, 28, pp. 1539-1641.

Lebaron, P. C, Wang, Z, and Pinnavaia, T, J, 1999, Polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites: An overview, J. Applied Clay Science, 15, pp. 11-29.

Aguzzi, C, et al., 2007, Use of clays as drug delivery systems: possibilities and limitations, J. Applied Clay Science, 36, pp. 22-36.

Patel, H. A, Somani, R. S, Bajaj, H.C, and al, 2006, Nanoclays for polymer nanocomposites, paints, inks, greases and cosmetics formulations, drug delivery vehicle and waste water treatment, J. Bulletin of Materials Science, 29, pp. 133-145.

Utracki, Leszek A., 2004, Clay-containing polymeric nanocomposites, First edition, SmithersRapra Publishing, Crewe.

Klempner, D., Sperling, Leslie H., and Utracki, Leszek A., 1994, Interpenetrating Polymer Networks, American Chemical Society, New York.

Ajji, A and Utracki, L. A, 1997,Compatibilisation of polymer blends, J. Progress in Rubber and Plastics Technology, 13, pp. 153-188.

Aranda, P,and RUIZ-Hitzky, E, 1992, Poly (ethylene oxide)-silicate intercalation materials, J. Chemistry of Materials, 1992, 4, pp. 1395-1403.

Aranda, P and Ruiz-Hitzky, E, 1999, Poly (ethylene oxide)/NH 4+-smectite nanocomposites, J. Applied Clay Science, 15, pp. 119-135.

Wu, J and Lerner, M. M, 1993, Structural, thermal, and electrical characterization of layered nanocomposites derived from sodium-montmorillonite and polyethers, J. Chemistry of Materials, 5, pp. 835-838.

Zhu, S, Chen, J, Li, H, and al, 2013, Structure and conformation of poly (ethylene glycol) in confined space of montmorillonite, J. Applied Surface Science, 264, pp. 500-506.

Israelachvili, Jacob N., 2011, Intermolecular and Surface Forces,Second edition, Academic Press, San Diego.

Milner, S. T, Witten, T. A, and Cates, M. E, 1988, Theory of the grafted polymer brush, J. Macromolecules, 21,pp. 2610-2619.

Akhrif, I, Mesrar, L, El Jai, M, Benhamou, M, and Jabrane, R, 2015, Elaboration and X-Ray diffraction techniques,characterization of clay-PEG 6000 nanocomposites with clay Matrix, J. Int. J. of Multidisciplinary and Current research, 3, pp.564-571.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.