Sodium alginate/sodium montmorillonite hybrid films were prepared by casting from the suspension of sodium alginate and different clay samples. Clay samples had been modified with a cationic surfactant, a cationic polymer, and a small polar molecule, respectively. Benzethonium chloride, polyethyleneimine and urea were used as clay modifiers. The composite films begin to disintegrate at a higher temperature and with less weight loss than the pure alginate films. This suggests an enhancement of the film thermal stability due to the modification of the alginate with clay samples. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.