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Langmuir. 2010 Jul 6;26(13):11407-12. doi: 10.1021/la100875j.

Shaping gold nanocomposites with tunable optical properties.

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  • 1Chemistry Department and CICECO, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.


We report the synthesis of morphological uniform composites using miniemulsions of poly(tert-butyl acrylate) or poly(styrene) containing organically capped gold nanocrystals (NCs). The optical features of such hybrid structures are dominated by plasmonic effects and depend critically on the morphology of the resulting nanocomposite. In particular, we demonstrate the ability to tune the overall optical response in the visible spectral region by varying the Au NCs arrangement within the polymer matrix, and therefore the interparticle plasmon coupling, using Au NCs resulting from the same batch of synthesis. This is a consequence of two well-known effects on the optical properties of Au particles: the variation of the surrounding dielectric refractive index and interparticle plasmonic coupling. The research reported here shows a general strategy to produce optical responsive nanocomposites via control of the morphology of submicrometric polymer particles containing metal nanocrystals and thus is an alternative to the more common strategy of size tuning metal nanoparticles used as nanofillers.

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