Precisely tuning the clay spacing in nanobrick wall gas barrier thin films
The inﬂuence of clay-layer spacing on gas barrier thin ﬁlms of sodium montmorillonite clay and polyelectrolytes, created via layer-by-layer assembly, is
investigated. The alternate deposition of polymers and clay leads to the assembly of a nanobrick wall structure that is highly impermeable to gases. In an eﬀort to tailor the thickness (or spacing) between clay layers, ﬁlms with diﬀering numbers of polymer layers between clay depositions were examined. Films analyzed for their thickness, clay concentration, transparency, nanostructure, and oxygen barrier as a function of layers (or spacing) between clay depositions reveal linear growth, optical clarity, and low OTR at 100 nm thick and containing only four clay layers. An optimal thickness between clay layers appears to exist for achieving the highest oxygen barrier LbL ﬁlms (PO2< 1 ×10−21 cc(STP)·cm/(cm2·s·Pa)). This knowledge can ultimately minimize deposition steps and lead to decreased thin ﬁlm fabrication times.
Priolo, MA; Holder, KM; Greenlee, SM; Stevens, BE; Grunlan, JC; Chem. Mater., 2013, 25,1649-1655.