EMU Volume 9 – Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Industrial clay minerals as nanomaterials

R.A. Schoonheydt and F. Bergaya

This chapter examines the use of industrial clay minerals as nanomaterials. In the first part, clay minerals are introduced and a survey is given of those properties which are relevant for clay-polymer nanocomposites (CPN). These properties are: morphology of the clay-mineral particles, sizes and shapes of the layers, cation exchange, and hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties. Then, the methods of CPN preparation are reviewed briefly, followed by the factors which influence the properties of CPN. Special attention is given to clay-mineral-based bionanocomposites and functional clay-minerals films. The latter can be prepared by spin coating, layer-by-layer assemblage and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique. A broad range of properties can be introduced in films prepared with appropriate molecules such as polymers, chiral molecules, molecules with non-linear optical properties and magnetic molecules. The area of CPN is broad and open for fundamental and applied research.

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