Abstract

Smectites are the main components of bentonites; their characteristics define the remarkable range for their uses in industry and technology. Their application depends on their fundamental properties, namely, their atomic structure with a rather flexible crystal lattice, their variable chemical composition, their particle size, and their morphology. The interlayer region of smectites is a favorable target for molecular engineering to design organic and inorganic hybrid materials, including smectite-polymer nanocomposites and pillared complexes of smectite-metal oxides.

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