Morphological changes of gel-type functional polymers after intermatrix synthesis of polymer stabilized silver nanoparticles
1 Department of Chemistry, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona 08193, Spain
2 MATGAS Research Center, Campus de la UAB, Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193, Spain
Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:255 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-255Published: 29 May 2013
This paper reports the results of intermatrix synthesis (IMS) of silver metal nanoparticles (Ag-MNPs) in Purolite C100E sulfonic ion exchange polymer of the gel-type structure. It has been shown that the surface morphology of the initial MNP-free polymer is absolutely smooth, but it dramatically changes after the kinetic loading of Ag on the polymer and then IMS of Ag-MNPs. These morphological changes can be explained by the interaction of Ag-NPs with the polymer chains, leading to a sort of additional cross-linking of the polymer. As a result, the modification of the gel-type matrix with Ag-MNPs leads to the increase of the matrix cross-linking, which results in the increase of its surface area and the appearance of nanoporosity in the polymer gel. Ag-MNPs are located near the polymer surface and do not form any visible agglomerations. All these features of the nanocomposites obtained are important for their practical applications in catalysis, sensor applications, and bactericide water treatment.