Polymer Nanocomposites by Radiolytic Polymerization
The γ-ray irradiation polymerization is beneficial technology that is environmentally friendly and energy efficient in the preparation of polymer nanocomposites. Two active species such as a free radical and a hydrated electron generated during γ-ray irradiation are used in preparing polymer-clay nanocomposites, polymer-metal nanocomposites, and polymer-carbon nanotube at room temperature and under ambient pressure. Various polymer-clay nanocomposites using γ-ray polymerization of the desired monomers can be prepared in a one step process. The prepared polymer-clay nanocomposites have the improved mechanical properties, enhanced thermal stability, and reducing gas permeability. Precious metals have been studied most extensively among polymer-metal nanocomposites and used as catalysts, in sensors, photochromic and electrochromic devices, and recording materials. Various functional groups can be introduced on the CNT surface by γ-ray irradiation polymerization as a one-step process. The polymer-CNT nanocomposites can be used as supports to immobilize biomolecules in the biosensor. This radiolytic preparation of polymer nanocomposites is expected to have actual applications in industrial fields because this method is very simple, has low cost, and can be produced at room temperature, with or without solvents.