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Nanotechnology. 2009 Oct 7;20(40):405301. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/20/40/405301. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

The fabrication of periodic polymer/silver nanoparticle structures: in situ reduction of silver nanoparticles from precursor spatially distributed in polymer using holographic exposure.

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  • 1Institute of Physics of NAS of Ukraine, Prospekt Nauky 46, 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine.

Abstract

A new approach to producing volume periodic polymer-metal nanoparticle structures is presented. Periodic distribution of Ag nanoparticles in a polymer film can be obtained by applying the holographic patterning in the UV or visible spectral range to the composite material comprising photocurable monomers, photoinitiators and a solution of silver nitrate in acetonitrile. Photopolymerization of the composite in the interference pattern provides formation of a highly efficient volume grating composed of periodic polymer regions and Ag precursor-containing regions. Subsequent homogeneous UV irradiation and/or thermo-treatment of the grating causes reduction of silver ions to Ag nanoparticles in the areas of the film containing the metal precursor. Spectroscopic measurements confirm the formation of the nanoparticles in the gratings. Transmission electron microscopy showed a regular spatial distribution of well-defined Ag nanoparticles in a polymer film with a periodicity governed by the geometry of holographic structuring. The average diameter of nanoparticles can be controlled by the wavelength and intensity of holographic exposure as well as the composite formulation. A possible mechanism of silver nanoparticle formation by free radicals as reducing agents is presented.

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