Macromolecular Rapid Communications, Vol.25, No.7, 788-792, 2004
Optical probes for monitoring intercalation and exfoliation in melt-processed polymer nanocomposites
Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy of the optical probe Nile Blue A in polymer clay nanocomposites is described. Concentration quenching of the fluorescence dominates the probe behavior until the clay platelets are physically separated by polymer intercalation. Further separation into an exfoliated structure results in a intense increase in probe fluorescence. Preliminary results indicate the ability to discriminate between intercalated and exfoliated structures in nanocomposites formed by melt processing.