Nanobrick wall multilayer thin films grown faster and stronger using electrophoretic deposition

Chungyeon Cho, Kevin L. Wallace, David A. Hagen, Bart Stevens, Oren Regev, Jaime C. Grunlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In an effort to speed up the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition technique, electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is employed with weak polyelectrolytes and clay nanoplatelets. The introduction of an electric field results in nearly an order of magnitude increase in thickness relative to conventional LbL deposition for a given number of deposited layers. A higher clay concentration also results with the EPD-LbL process, which produces higher modulus and strength with fewer deposited layers. A 20 quadlayer (QL) assembly of linear polyethyleneimine (LPEI)/poly(acrylic acid)/LPEI/clay has an elastic modulus of 45 GPa, tensile strength of 70 MPa, and thickness of 4.4 μm. Traditional LbL requires 40 QL to achieve the same thickness, with lower modulus and strength. This study reveals how these films grow and maintain a highly ordered nanobrick wall structure that is commonly associated with LbL deposition. Fewer layers required to achieve improved properties will open up many new opportunities for this multifunctional thin film deposition technique.

Original languageEnglish
Article number185703
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number18
StatePublished - 8 May 2015


  • Clay
  • Elastic modulus
  • Electrophoretic deposition
  • Layer-by-layer assembly
  • Polymer nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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