Syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS)/organophilic clay nanocomposites were fabricated by direct-melt intercalation method. To overcome the thermal instability of organophilic clay at high-melt processing temperatures of sPS, an organophilic clay modified by alkyl phosphonium was adopted, which is known to be thermally stable. By using the newly synthesized clay, we could fabricate sPS intercalated nanocomposites. The microstructures of nanocomposites were confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The crystallization rate of nanocomposites investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) does not increase despite the presence of clay, which may be due to the physical hindrance of organic modifiers in the clay dispersion. Nanocomposites exhibited enhanced mechanical properties such as strength and stiffness relative to the virgin polymer. In addition, thermal stability was confirmed to be improved by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). (C) 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.