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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013, Article ID 650725, 12 pages
Research Article

Polystyrene/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites: Study of the Morphology and Effects of Sonication Time on Thermal Stability

1Department of Chemistry, Science College, Princess Nora Bint Abdu Rahman University, Riyadh 1167, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Chemistry, Science College, King Saud University, Riyadh 1145, Saudi Arabia

Received 4 November 2012; Revised 4 January 2013; Accepted 5 January 2013

Academic Editor: Fathallah Karimzadeh

Copyright © 2013 Mashael Alshabanat et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polymer nanocomposites of polystyrene matrix containing 10% wt of organo-montmorillonite (organo-MMT) were prepared using the solution method with sonication times of 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 hours. Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) is used to modify the montmorillonite clay after saturating its surface with Na+ ions. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to characterize the montmorillonite before and after modification by CTAB. The prepared nanocomposites were characterized using the same analysis methods. These results confirm the intercalation of PS in the interlamellar spaces of organo-MMT with a very small quantity of exfoliation of the silicate layers within the PS matrix of all samples at all studied times of sonication. The thermal stability of the nanocomposites was measured using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results show clear improvement, and the effects of sonication time are noted.