Nanoparticle synthesis using polyelectrolyte nanoreactors
D.J. Anderson, J. Dinglasan, J.B. Goh, E. Veletanlic, M.C. Goh
Vive Nano, CA
Keywords: nanoparticles, polyelectrolytes, polymer, wet synthesis, photocatalysts, agrichemicals
Abstract:We report a facile method to synthesize a wide range of nanoparticles via polyelectrolyte nanoreactors. The nanoreactors are formed through ion-induced collapse of highly extended, high molecular weight anionic polyelectrolytes using metal salts. The formation of compact polyelectrolyte globular nanoreactors containing metal counterions is indirectly observed through viscosity measurements. The small size of the nanoreactors was measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS) as ~ 10-20 nm in diameter. By subjecting the nanoreactors to conditions that transform the counterions into inorganic nanoparticles, polyelectrolyte-encapsulated nanoparticles were formed. Depending on the metal salt used, this method can be used to produce a wide range of nanoparticles, including metals, metal oxides, complex semiconductors, and doped systems. As a case study, Ag and CeO2 nanoparticles were synthesized using this method and characterization data is presented. Applications of the polyelectrolyte collapse technique to supported visible-light activated photocatalysts as well as encapsulation of crop protection chemicals are discussed.