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Sulfonated Styrene-(ethylene-co-butylene)-styrene/Montmorillonite Clay Nanocomposites: Synthesis, Morphology, and Properties

Anirban Ganguly and Anil K Bhowmick*

Author Affiliations

Rubber Technology Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, Kharagpur, 721302, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 3:36-44  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9111-3

Published: 18 December 2007


Sulfonated styrene-(ethylene-butylene)-styrene triblock copolymer (SSEBS) was synthesized by reaction of acetyl sulfate with SEBS. SSESB-clay nanocomposites were then prepared from hydrophilic Na-montmorillonite (MT) and organically (quaternary amine) modified hydrophobic nanoclay (OMT) at very low loading. SEBS did not show improvement in properties with MT-based nanocomposites. On sulfonation (3 and 6 weight%) of SEBS, hydrophilic MT clay-based nanocomposites exhibited better mechanical, dynamic mechanical, and thermal properties, and also controlled water–methanol mixture uptake and permeation and AC resistance. Microstructure determined by X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy due to better dispersion of MT nanoclay particles and interaction of MT with SSEBS matrix was responsible for this effect. The resulting nanocomposites have potential as proton transfer membranes for Fuel Cell applications.

SEBS; Sulfonation; Montmorillonite clay; Nanocomposites