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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3852310, 11 pages
Research Article

Halloysite Nanotubes Noncovalently Functionalised with SDS Anionic Surfactant and PS-b-P4VP Block Copolymer for Their Effective Dispersion in Polystyrene as UV-Blocking Nanocomposite Films

1Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden, Hohe Straße 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
2Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
3Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
4Department of Agriculture, Crop Production & Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Nea Ionia, Volos, 38446 Magnesia, Greece
5Laboratory of Alternative Fuels and Environmental Catalysis, Department of Environmental and Pollution Control Engineering, School of Applied Sciences, Technological Education Institution of Western Macedonia (TEIWM), 50100, Koila, Kozani, Greece

Correspondence should be addressed to Lazaros Tzounis

Received 26 October 2016; Revised 21 January 2017; Accepted 9 February 2017; Published 19 March 2017

Academic Editor: Jim Low

Copyright © 2017 Lazaros Tzounis 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.


A simple and versatile method is reported for the noncovalent functionalisation of natural and “green” halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) allowing their effective dispersion in a polystyrene (PS) thermoplastic matrix via solvent mixing. Initially, HNTs (pristine HNTs) were modified with physically adsorbed surfactant molecules of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) and PS-b-P4VP [P4VP: poly(4-vinylpyridine)] block copolymer (BCP). Hereafter, SDS and BCP modified HNTs will be indicated as SDS-m-HNT and BCP-m-HNT. Nanocomposite films with 1, 2, and 5 wt.% HNT loadings were prepared, abbreviated as PS-SDS-m-HNT1, PS-SDS-m-HNT2, and PS-SDS-m-HNT5 and PS-BCP-m-HNT1, PS-BCP-m-HNT2, and PS-BCP-m-HNT5 (where 1, 2, and 5 correspond to the wt.% of HNTs). All nanocomposites depicted improved thermal degradation compared to the neat PS as revealed by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed the good dispersion state of HNTs and the importance of modification by SDS and BCP. X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies showed the characteristic interlayer spacing between the two silicate layers of pristine and modified HNTs. The PS/HNT nanocomposite films exhibited excellent ultraviolent-visible (UV-vis) absorbance properties and their potential application as UV-filters could be envisaged.