Preparation and Characterization of Clay-polymer Nanocomposite Having Covalently-bound poly(norbornenes) with Pendant Cholesterols

We have successfully prepared a clay-based polymer nanocomposite having grown cholesterol bearing poly(norbornene) brushes end-tethered from a naturally-occurring montmorillonite clay template. The synthesis of this hybrid material involved the treatment of the clay with first generation Grubbs catalyst, a ruthenium alkylidene, which induced a ring-opening metathesis and subsequent surface initiated polymerization of the cholesterol bearing monomer. This results in an inorganic/organic hybrid functional nanomaterial where the inclusion of the clay particles in a liquid crystalline domain modifies the thermal transitions.