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23 March 2011 Bioinspired assembly of nanoplatelets for reinforced polymer nanocomposites
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Bio-inspired assembly of platelet particles and polyelectrolytes into ordered layered nanocomposites, which mimic the brick-and-mortar nanostructure found in the nacreous layer of mollusk shells, is of great technological importance in developing light-weight reinforced materials, separation membranes, and gas-barrier coatings. Unfortunately, the widely utilized layer-by-layer self-assembly technology is tedious in creating thick multilayered coatings. Here we report a simple filtration technology that enables the scalable production of inorganic nanoplatelets-polymer nanocomposites with layered structures. Water suspended montmorillonite (MTM) nanoclay platelets are pre-mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) aqueous solution to make stable colloidal suspensions. By using a simple vacuum filtration setup, ordered layered MTM nanoclay-PVA nanocomposites with controlled thickness can be easily prepared. The resulting selfstanding films exhibit higher tensile strength and toughness than those of natural inorganic-organic nanocomposites including nacre, bone, and dentin.
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Wei-Han Huang, Xuan Dou, and Peng Jiang "Bioinspired assembly of nanoplatelets for reinforced polymer nanocomposites", Proc. SPIE 7975, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication, 79750C (23 March 2011);

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