Irradiation and Metal-Containing Conjugated-Polymer Nanocomposites

Frank D. Blum, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Zhe-Fei Li
Sunil K. Pillalamarri
Massimo F. Bertino, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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In recent years, there has been considerable interest in inorganic/organic hybrid materials that combine the desirable properties of both classes. These composite materials may find significant application in a variety of applications such as sensors, memory and energy conversion, to name just a few. In our laboratories, we have recently made a series of studies on the production of polymer nanofibers and their composites with nanometals. Much of this work has focused on the production of polyaniline (PANI) nanofibers that have been made from one-pot syntheses in aqueous solutions where the polymerization was influenced by -radiation1 or UV-radiation.2 in the latter case, the polymer can be patterned with an appropriate mask. It has also been shown that if certain metal salts are added to the precursor solutions, metal nanocomposites can be produced. For example, we have been able to make polyaniline composites using -irradiation with silver 3,4 and gold 4 nanoparticles.