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Insight into the Broad Field of Polymer Nanocomposites: From Carbon Nanotubes to Clay Nanoplatelets, via Metal Nanoparticles

Department of Chemical & Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2009, 2(4), 2095-2153;
Received: 28 October 2009 / Revised: 24 November 2009 / Accepted: 26 November 2009 / Published: 30 November 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles)
Highly ordered polymer nanocomposites are complex materials that display a rich morphological behavior owing to variations in composition, structure, and properties on a nanometer length scale. Metal-polymer nanocomposite materials are becoming more popular for applications requiring low cost, high metal surface areas. Catalytic systems seem to be the most prevalent application for a wide range of metals used in polymer nanocomposites, particularly for metals like Pt, Ni, Co, and Au, with known catalytic activities. On the other hand, among the most frequently utilized techniques to prepare polymer/CNT and/or polymer/clay nanocomposites are approaches like melt mixing, solution casting, electrospinning and solid-state shear pulverization. Additionally, some of the current and potential applications of polymer/CNT and/or polymer/clay nanocomposites include photovoltaic devices, optical switches, electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding, aerospace and automotive materials, packaging, adhesives and coatings. This extensive review covers a broad range of articles, typically from high impact-factor journals, on most of the polymer-nanocomposites known to date: polymer/carbon nanotubes, polymer/metal nanospheres, and polymer/clay nanoplatelets composites. The various types of nanocomposites are described form the preparation stages to performance and applications. Comparisons of the various types of nanocomposites are conducted and conclusions are formulated. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotube; laponite®; montmorillonite; metal; nanocomposite carbon nanotube; laponite®; montmorillonite; metal; nanocomposite
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Stefanescu, E.A.; Daranga, C.; Stefanescu, C. Insight into the Broad Field of Polymer Nanocomposites: From Carbon Nanotubes to Clay Nanoplatelets, via Metal Nanoparticles. Materials 2009, 2, 2095-2153.

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