Electric Field Nematic Alignment Of Fluorohectorite Clay Particles In Oligomeric Matrices

Electric field nematic alignment of fluorohectorite clay particles in oligomeric matrices

Zbigniew Rozynek, René C. Castberg, Alexander Mikkelsen and Jon Otto Fossum

We study the behavior of fluorohectorite synthetic clay particles dispersed in paraffin wax. We report wide-angle x-ray scattering related to electric-field-induced alignment of the embedded clay particles. The development of anisotropic arrangement of the particles is measured during melting and crystallization of the composites. The degree of anisotropy is quantified by fitting azimuthal changes of the clay diffraction peak intensity to the Maier-Saupe function. This parametric function is then used to extract both the full width at half maximum (FWHM) and the amplitude of the anisotropic scattering and eventually to estimate a nematic order parameter for this system. Finally, the time evolution of the one-to-zero and zero-to-one water layer transition in paraffin embedded fluorohectorite clay galleries is presented, and we demonstrate that such particles can be used as “meso-detectors” for monitoring the local water content in bulk carrier matrices, such as paraffin wax