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Hairy nanoparticle assemblies as one-component functional polymer nanocomposites: opportunities and challenges

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 March 2013

Nikhil J. Fernandes
School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
Hilmar Koerner
Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433
Emmanuel P. Giannelis
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
Richard A. Vaia*
Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433
Address all correspondence to Richard A. Vaia at
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Over the past three decades, the combination of inorganic-nanoparticles and organic-polymers has led to a wide variety of advanced materials, including polymer nanocomposites (PNCs). Recently, synthetic innovations for attaching polymers to nanoparticles to create “hairy nanoparticles” (HNPs) has expanded opportunities in this field. In addition to nanoparticle compatibilization for traditional particle–matrix blending, neat-HNPs afford one-component hybrids, both in composition and properties, which avoids issues of mixing that plague traditional PNCs. Continuous improvements in purity, scalability, and theoretical foundations of structure–performance relationships are critical to achieving design control of neat-HNPs necessary for future applications, ranging from optical, energy, and sensor devices to lubricants, green-bodies, and structures.

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