Ligand engineering of polymer nanocomposites: From the simple to the complex

Ying Li, Timothy Michael Krentz, Lei Wang, Brian C. Benicewicz, Linda S. Schadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


One key to optimizing the performance of polymer nanocomposites for high-tech applications is surface ligand engineering of the nanofiller, which has been used to either tune the nanofiller morphology or introduce additional functionalities. Ligand engineering can be relatively simple such as a single population of short molecules on the nanoparticle surface designed for matrix compatibility. It can also have complexity that includes bimodal (or multimodal) populations of ligands that enable relatively independent control of enthalpic and entropic interactions between the nanofiller and matrix as well as introduce additional functionality and dynamic control. In this Spotlight on Applications, we provide a brief review into the use of brush ligands to tune the thermodynamic interactions between nanofiller and matrix and then focus on the potential for surface ligand engineering to create exciting nanocomposites properties for optoelectronic and dielectric applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6005-6021
Number of pages17
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 14 2014


  • dielectric application
  • optoelectronic application
  • polymer brush
  • polymer nanocomposite
  • review
  • surface functionalization
  • surface ligand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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