Improving the Gas Barrier Property of Clay-Polymer Multilayer Thin Films Using Shorter Deposition Times Academic Article uri icon


  • Relatively fast exposure times (5 s) to aqueous solutions were found to improve the gas barrier of clay–polymer thin films prepared using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly. Contrary to the common belief about deposition time (i.e., the longer the better), oxygen transmission rates (OTRs) of these nano-brick-wall assemblies are improved by reducing exposure time (from 1 min to 5 s). Regardless of composition, LbL films fabricated using shorter deposition time are always thicker in the first few layers, which correspond to greater clay spacing and lower OTR. A quadlayer (QL) assembly consisting of three repeat units of branched polyethylenimine (PEI), poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), PEI and montmorillonite (MMT) clay is only 24 nm thick when deposited with 1 min exposure to each ingredient. Reducing the exposure time of polyelectrolytes to 5 s not only increases this film thickness to 55 nm but also reduces the oxygen transmission rate (OTR) to 0.05 cm3/(m2 day atm), which is 2 orders of magnitude lower than the same...

publication date

  • May 1, 2014