Triazene UV-triggered photogeneration of silver/gold nanoparticles in block copolymer templates
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This article describes an attractive way to in situ create noble metal nanoparticles in block copolymer matrixes through the UV-triggered photodecomposition of the photolabile triazene units without the use of any conventional reducing agent. The poly(isodecyl methacrylate-co-triazene urethane methacrylate) random copolymer containing pendent photocleavable triazene junctions (COP-1) was synthesized under RAFT conditions and subsequently employed as macroinitiator to obtain a block copolymer, namely poly(isodecyl methacrylate-co-triazene urethane methacrylate)-block-poly(acrylic acid) (COP-2). The photogeneration of silver/gold metal nanoparticles (NPs) from noble metal precursors (1 wt% AgNO3 or AuBr3 metal salts) induced through the UV decomposition of triazene units with the formation of some radical active species was monitored in solution and thin films. The in situ growth of Ag/Au nanostructures into polymer matrixes for which the light is a key element has been confirmed by UV spectroscopy and TEM analysis. The TEM images allowed the visualization of the silver NPs (sizes of 4–16 nm in COP-1 and of 2–6 nm in COP-2) as well as of the gold NPs (sizes between 10 and 20 nm in COP-1 and from 15 to 25 nm in COP-2), which are mainly spherical in shape, even though there is some triangular or hexagonal gold nanoparticles.
KeywordsTriazene block copolymer UV irradiation Photodecomposition Silver/gold nanoparticles Nanocomposite materials
This work was financially supported by CNCSIS-UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0164 (40/5.10.2011).
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