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Novel Nano-metal Polymeric Composites Fabricated via In-Situ Self Assembly

T.G. Vargo, T.S. Koloski, D.M. MacRae, D.W. Lucey, D. Zhang and J.B. Brupbacher
Integument Technologies, Inc., US

Keywords:
nanometals, nanometal oxides, free volume, nanometal/polymer composites

Abstract:
Current research in the field of nanotechnology and the fabrication of polymeric composites is often complicated by the inability to obtain well dispersed nano-particles within polymeric matrices. Current methods require that nanoparticles be protected by organic ligands that affect many of the properties inherent to unprotected nanoparticles (e.g., catalytic activity). In this report we describe a new in-situ method for directly growing and assembling metal and metal oxide nano-particles within the free volume of polymeric materials without the use of solvents, supercritical fluids, or organic stabilizers.
By utilizing the inherent free volume contained in a fully cured organic polymer our laboratories have demonstrated the ability to grow metal and metal oxide nanoparticles that can be homogenously dispersed or controllably situated in any region within a polymeric matrix. In addition, this method provides fine control over nanoparticle sizes (and size distribution) down to several nanometers.

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