Advanced Materials

Tuning Polymer Nanocomposite Morphology: AC Electric Field Manipulation of Epoxy–Montmorillonite (Clay) Suspensions


  • We thank G. Price (UDRI) for help with X-ray experiments and E. Fontes at G-line at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source for help with the initial time-resolved X-ray experiments. We are also very grateful for conversations and associated collaborations with G. Beall, C. Smith, G. Bartels and S. Grajales at Southwest Texas University. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research; the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate provided funding.


AC electric field alignment (see Figure) offers a route to composite films with unusual physical properties, in numerous geometries and applicable to a wide range of organically modified layered silicates. Exchangeable organic cations on the aluminosilicate surface are suspected to cause the induced dipole. Orientational, compositional, and translational control of nanoparticles, paralleling efforts in electric field-trapping and traveling wave applications, could be achieved.