The large-scale assembly of asymmetric colloidal particles is used in creating high-performance fibres. A similar concept is extended to the manufacturing of thin films of self-assembled two-dimensional crystal-type materials with enhanced and tunable properties. Here we present a spray-coating method to manufacture thin, flexible and transparent epoxy films containing zirconium phosphate nanoplatelets self-assembled into a lamellar arrangement aligned parallel to the substrate. The self-assembled mesophase of zirconium phosphate nanoplatelets is stabilized by epoxy pre-polymer and exhibits rheology favourable towards large-scale manufacturing. The thermally cured film forms a mechanically robust coating and shows excellent gas barrier properties at both low- and high humidity levels as a result of the highly aligned and overlapping arrangement of nanoplatelets. This work shows that the large-scale ordering of high aspect ratio nanoplatelets is easier to achieve than previously thought and may have implications in the technological applications for similar materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)