Biomimetic nanocoatings with exceptional mechanical, barrier, and flame-retardant properties from large-scale one-step coassembly

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Science Advances  19 Jul 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 7, e1701212
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701212

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Large-scale biomimetic organic/inorganic hybrid nanocoatings with a nacre-like microstructure were prepared via a facile coassembly process. Different from conventional polymer nanocomposites, these nanocoatings contain a high concentration of nanosheets, which can be well aligned along the substrate surface. Moreover, the nanosheets and polymer matrix can be chemically co–cross-linked. As a result, the nanocoatings exhibit exceptional mechanical properties (high stiffness and strength), barrier properties (to both oxygen and water vapor), and flame retardancy, but they are also highly transparent (maintaining more than 85% of their original transmittance to visible light). The nanocoatings can be applied to various substrates and regular or irregular surfaces (for example, films and foams). Because of their excellent performance and high versatility, these nanocoatings are expected to find widespread application.

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