In this study, polyindole (PIN) and polyindole/kaolinite (PIN/KAO) composite were synthesized by free radical polymerization using FeCl3 as an initiator. Average particle sizes (d(50)) of PIN and PIN/KAO composite were determined by dynamic light scattering (DLS) as 7.2 and 6.2 mu m, respectively. The samples were characterized by FTIR, elemental analysis, DSC/TGA and SEM measurements. Suspensions of KAO, PIN, and PIN/KAO composite were prepared in silicone oil (SO) and the sedimentation stabilities were determined. Electrorheological (ER) properties of these suspensions were studied as a function of dispersed phase concentration, shear rate, shear stress, and temperature; and yield stresses and excess shear stresses determined. Further, dielectric properties of KAO, PIN, and PIN/KAO composite were investigated. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 104: 3484-3493, 2007.