Honors College Theses

Date

2021

Major

Biochemistry (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Shainaz Landge

Abstract

Nanoclays are microscopic clays that are comprised of layered nanoparticle aluminosilicates that are naturally arranged in several morphologies. Halloysite nanotubes (HNT) are hollow, double-layered tubes, bentonite (BNT) clays are trapezoidal platelets, and nanosilica or silica dioxide (SiO2) are spherical. These nanoclays were chosen for sustainable purposes as they are naturally derived and for economical purposes because of their cheap commercial availability. In this study, the nanoclays are functionalized with an epoxy organosilane group through reflux conditions at 120 °C for 24 hours. The pristine and functionalized nanoclays were extensively characterized with infrared radiation (IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), powder x-ray diffraction (PXRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to verify the loading of organosilane groups. The functionalized form of these morphologically different nanoclays can be utilized in a variety of enhancements for composite materials such as improved thermal resistance, mechanical strength, and increased fracture toughness.

Available for download on Saturday, April 04, 2026

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