Tuning a hydrophilic nanobelt's crystal lattice for interface-tailored nanocompositing with a hydrophobic polymer

by Ghanem, A. F.; Williams, Roger Lynn; Rehim, M. H. Abdel; Tian, Z. Ryan

Nanoblending hydrophilic nanofillers thoroughly into hydrophobic polymer matrices has long been challenging, especially if involving no pre-functionalization on a 1D ceramic nanomaterial. Here we report a facile approach to fine-tuning of sodium titanate (Na2Ti3O7) nanobelt's (NB) surface chemistry widely by exchanging the NB's crystal lattice cations, for successfully nanoblending the low-cost and versatile NBs into the poly(vinyl benzyl chloride) or p(VBC) and the sulfonated form of pVBC's [or sp(VBC)] matrixes. For the first time, the adjustable nanocompositing showed a long-sought workability in not only in situ radical polymerization of VBC monomer but also ex situ nanoblending of the p(VBC), with the NBs. The resultant nanocomposites possess an unusual surface versatility that can be tailored from being hydrophilic to being hydrophobic by design. This method concludes a generalized and industry-viable approach to mass-producing nanocomposites of many types facilely at low-cost, especially for large scale industries such as packaging materials.

Journal
Journal of Materials Science
Volume
49
Issue
21
Year
2014
Start Page
7382
ISBN/ISSN
1573-4803; 0022-2461
DOI
10.1007/s10853-014-8394-x