Polymer-grafted montmorillonite (MMT) hybrid composites which possess a hard backbone of MMT and a soft shell of brush-like polystyrene (PSt) were prepared via “grafting from” strategy based on nitroxide-mediated radical polymerization (NMRP) using 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-N-oxyl (TEMPO) as mediator. Three steps were used to graft PSt chains to the surface of MMT: anchoring of methacrylatoethyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (DMC) onto the surface of MMT by ion exchange reaction first. And then, the surface alkoxyamine initiator was produced in a one-step process by reacting simultaneously TEMPO, BPO, and DMC in the presence of MMT. Next, PSt chains with controlled molecular weights and polydispersities were grown from the alkoxyamine functionalized MMT surface. The prepared PSt-g-MMT hybrid particles have been extensively characterized by FTIR, XPS, XRD, TGA, TEM, respectively. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010
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