Composite materials comprising arrays of silver nanoparticles in amphiphilic copolymers have been prepared by sonochemically enhanced borohydride reduction of precursor silver nitrate (AgNO3). The precursor was incorporated into the cores of polymeric micelles formed from block copolymers of polystyrene (PS) or poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). The copolymers were synthesised with varying hydrophobic block lengths from a PEO macroinitiator by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). UV/visible spectroscopy was used to confirm the formation of elemental silver and the effect of sonication time on the appearance of the silver nanoparticles was determined. The growth was faster than when gold nanoparticles are formed in comparable block copolymers. Nanoparticles formed in copolymers with PMMA blocks were more stable to agglomeration than when polystyrene was used. Electron microscopy revealed the morphology of the nanocomposites which confirmed that both block copolymers are vehicles for the formation of well-defined films containing nanoparticulate silver. However, AgNP formation shows some significant differences from previous reports of gold NP containing materials formed under similar conditions.
Journal of Polymer Research – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 7, 2017
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