Exfoliation of layered silicate facilitated by ring-opening reaction of cyclic oligomers in PET-clay nanocomposites

Sang Soo Lee, Young Tae Ma, Hee Woo Rhee, Junkyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Ethylene terephthalate cyclic oligomers (ETCs) have been successfully polymerized to a high molecular weight poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) employing the advantages of the low viscosity of cyclic oligomers and lack of chemical emissions during polymerization. Using ring-opening polymerization of ETCs with organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT), we intend to ascertain the possibility of preparing high performance PET/clay nanocomposites. Due to the low molecular weight and viscosity, ETCs are successfully intercalated to the clay gallerys, what is evidenced by XRD showing a down-shift of basal plane peak of layered silicate along with TEM investigation. Subsequent ring-opening polymerization of ETCs in-between silicate layers yielded a PET matrix of high molecular weight along with high disruption of layered silicate structure and homogeneous dispersion of the latter in the matrix. Although co-existence of exfoliation and intercalation states of silicate layers after polymerization of ETCs rather than perfect exfoliation was observed, a dramatic increase in d-spacing along with fast polymerization presents us a great potential of cyclic oligomer process in producing a thermoplastic polymer-clay nanocomposites of extremely well-dispersed silicate nanoplatelets and the corresponding high performances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2201-2210
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar 10


  • Cyclic oligomer
  • Nanocomposite
  • Ring-opening polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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