Inorganic/organic host-guest materials: Surface and interclay reactions of styrene with copper (II)-exchanged hectorite

Timothy L. Porter, Michael E. Hagerman, Benjamin P. Reynolds, Michael P. Eastman, Roderic A. Parnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Many important layered silicate-polymer nanocomposite materials may be synthesized using an in-situ polymerization process. Using this technique, organic monomers are intercalated into the interlayer regions of the hosts, where subsequent polymerization may then occur. In this paper, we report on the in-situ polymerization of styrene in Cu(II)-exchanged hectorite thin films. Scanning force microscopy (SFM) images of the polymer surface reveal that the surface polystyrene is generally aggregated into groups of elongated strands. SFM imaging of the interclay regions, in conjunction with X-ray diffraction (XRD) and electron spin resonance (ESR) data, indicates that approximately 20-30% of these regions contain polystyrene, with minimal reduction in the majority of Cu2+ sites observed. XRD data shows little or no intercalation of the monomer into the true intergallery regions. Instead, the polymer likely forms in intercrystallite or planar defect regions. In addition, two distinct phases of polymeric material are found within these defect regions, a highly polymerized polystyrene in addition to a polystyrene form exhibiting greater material stiffness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-679
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • Hectorite
  • Polystyrene
  • Scanning force microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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