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Large-Scale Morphology of Dispersed Layered Silicates

  • Dale W. Schaefer (a1) (a2), Ryan S. Justice (a1), Hilmar Koerner (a3), Richard Vaia (a4), Chungui Zhao (a2), Mingshu Yang (a2) and Jim Vale (a5)...

Abstract

Ultra small angle x-ray scattering is used to probe the morphology of highly dispersed montmorillonite (MMT) in water and polyamide-66. In water the scattered intensity, I(q) shows a q-2 dependence for q > 0.01 Å-1, where q is the magnitude of the scattering vector. This is as expected for a two dimensional sheet-like object. On larger scales (smaller q) mass-fractal character is evident up to the radius-of-gyration of the individual scattering entities. The scattering profile is interpreted using a semi-flexible sheet model in which flat, disk-like entities of radius = 80 Å (an areal persistence length) are fractally distributed on large scales with a mass fractal dimension of 2.65. These size scales correspond to a scattering entity comprised of one or a few crumpled sheets. No evidence of inter-particle correlations is found at concentrations below the gel point. In polyamide-66 loaded with organically modified MMT long-range fractal behavior is also observed but with larger fractal dimension.

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