Understanding surface interactions in aqueous miscible organic solvent treated layered double hydroxides
Layered materials are of interest for use in a wealth of technological applications, many of which require a high surface area for optimal properties and performance. Recently, an industrially scalable method to create high surface area layered double hydroxide (LDH) materials, which may be readily dispersed in non-polar solvents, has been developed. This method involves treatment of LDHs with aqueous miscible organic (AMO) solvents. Here, molecular modeling is exploited to elucidate the AMO solvent–LDH interactions, in order to understand how the dispersion process is facilitated by the AMO treatment. The simulations show how hydrogen-bond networks within the LDH interlayer are disrupted by AMO solvents, leading to delamination.