Crystallization and unusual rheological behavior in poly(ethylene oxide)–clay nanocomposites

Antonios Kelarakis, Emmanuel P. Giannelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We report a systematic study of the crystallization and rheological behavior of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)-clay nanocomposites. To that end a series of nanocomposites based on PEOs of different molecular weight (103 < MW < 105 g/mol) and clay surface modifier was synthesized and characterized. Incorporation of organoclays with polar (MMT-OH) or aromatic groups (MMT-Ar) suppresses the crystallization of polymer chains in low MW PEO, but does not significantly affect the crystallization of high MW matrices. In addition, the relative complex viscosity of the nanocomposites based on low MW PEO increases significantly, but the effect is less pronounced at higher MWs. The viscosity increases in the series MMT-Alk < MMT-OH < MMT-Ar. In contrast to the neat PEO which exhibits a monotonic decrease of viscosity with temperature, all nanocomposites show an increase after a certain temperature. This is the first report of such dramatic enhancements in the viscoelasticity of nanocomposites, which are reversible, are based on a simple polymer matrix and are true in a wide temperature range. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2221-2227
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This material is based on work supported as part of the Energy Materials Center at Cornell, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001086. This publication is based on work supported in part by Award No. KUS-C1-018-02, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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