Layer-by-layer assembly of thin film oxygen barrier

Thin films of sodium montmorillonite clay and cationic polyacrylamide were grown on a polyethylene terephthalate film using layer-by-layer assembly. After 30 clay–polymer layers are deposited, with a thickness of 571 nm, the resulting transparent film has an oxygen transmission rate (OTR) below the detection limit of commercial instrumentation (< 0.005 cc/m2/day/atm). This low OTR, which is unprecedented for a clay-filled polymer composite, is believed to be due to a brick wall nanostructure comprised of completely exfoliated clay in polymeric mortar. With an optical transparency greater than 90% and potential for microwaveability, this thin composite is a good candidate for foil replacement in food packaging and may also be useful for flexible electronics packaging.

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Jang, WS; Rawson, I; Grunlan, JC; Thin Solid Films, 2008516 (15), 4819-4825.
Published in Thin Solid Films 2008