Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Polymer/Layered Silicate Nanocomposites from Thermally Stable Trialkylimidazolium-Treated Montmorillonite.



Jeffrey W. Gilman, W H. Awad, Rick D. Davis, John R. Shields, Richard H. Harris Jr., C H. Davis, A B. Morgan, T E. Sutto, J H. Callahan, Paul C. Trulove, H DeLong


The limited thermal stability of alkylammonium cations intercalated into smectite minerals (e.g., montmorillonite, MMT) and the processing instability of some polymers [polyamide-6 (PA-6) and polystyrene (PS)] in the presence of nanodispersed MMT have motivated the development of improved organophillic treatments for layered silicates. Success in this regard should enable the preparation of polymer/layered silicate nanocomposites from thermoplastic polymers that require high melt-processing temperatures or long residence times under high shear and from thermoset resins with high cure temperatures. Our efforts to address some of these issues focus on the use of new thermally stable imidazolium-treated layered silicates for the preparation of nanocomposites. Several trialkylimidazolium salt derivatives were prepared with propyl, butyl, decyl, and hexadecyl alkyl chains attached to the imidazolium through one of the nitrogens. These imidazolium salts were used to prepare the corresponding treated layered silicates. We report here that the use of 1-alkyl-2,3-dimethylimidazolium salts to replace the sodium in natural MMT gives organophillic MMT with a 100 C improvement in thermal stability (in N2) as compared to the alkylammonium-treated MMT. The use of 1-alkyl-2,3-dimethylimidazolium salt in fluorinated synthetic mica (FSM) also gives a 100 C improvement in thermal stability. The use of 1,2-dimethyl-3-hexadecylimidazolium-treated MMT gives an exfoliated PA-6 nanocomposite and, depending on processing conditions, either a partially exfoliated or an intercalated polystyrene nanocomposite.
Chemistry of Materials
No. 9


polymers, nanocomposites, imidazolium, polyamide, polystyrene, thermal stability


Gilman, J. , Awad, W. , Davis, R. , Shields, J. , Harris, R. , Davis, C. , Morgan, A. , Sutto, T. , Callahan, J. , Trulove, P. and DeLong, H. (2002), Polymer/Layered Silicate Nanocomposites from Thermally Stable Trialkylimidazolium-Treated Montmorillonite., Chemistry of Materials, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 1, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017