[en] In this study, layered silicate/aliphatic polyester nanohybrids were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of c-caprolactone as promoted by the so-called coordination-insertion mechanism. These nanocomposites were formed in presence of montmorillortite surface-modified by ammonium cations bearing hydroxyl group(s), such as bis(2-hydroxyethyl)methyl (hydrogenated tallow alkyl) ammonium. The lactone polymerization could in initiated by all the hydroxyl functions available at the clay surface, after activation into either tin(II) or AI(III) alkoxide active species. Hybrid nanocomposites were accordingly generated through the covalent grafting of every polyester chain onto the filler surface. Surface-grafted polycaprolactone (PCL) chains were untied and isolated by ionic exchange reaction with LiCl in THF solution and molar masses were measured by size exclusion chromatography. The PCL molar masses could be controlled and readily tuned by the content of hydroxyl groups available at the clay surface. Interestingly, initiation reaction by aluminum trialkoxide active species yielded grafted PCL chains characterized by very narrow molecular weight distribution (M-w/M(n)similar to1.2). These polyester-grafted layered silicate nanohybrids displayed complete exfoliation of silicate sheets as shown by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
The "Région Wallonne" and the "Fonds Social Européen" in the frame of Objectif-1 Hainaut: Materia Nova ; The "Région Wallonne" in the frame of the W.D.U. program TECMAVER ; Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy