O. Dammera,b, B. Vlčkováa, K. Podhájeckáb, J. Pflegerb
aDepartment of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry, Charles University in Prague, Hlavova 2030, CZ-128 40 Prague 2, Czech Republic
bInstitute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Heyrovsky sq. 2, CZ-162 06 Praha 6, Czech Republic
Polymer composites containing nanoparticles of various noble metals play an important role in advanced applications based on the resonance interaction of light with surface plasmons, having typical resonance frequencies in the visible spectral region. These hybrid nanomaterials have unique physical properties and wide potential applications in catalysis, optical sensors, luminescent devices, and others. For mixing metal nanoparticles with p-conjugated polymers the introduction of a proper stabilizer is required that brings a solubility of nanoparticles in compatible solvents and mixing with the polymer. Unfortunately, such stabilizer prevents a direct interaction of the polymer with a nanoparticle surface that is necessary for the observation of effective surface enhanced phenomena.
We report the preparation and characterization of nanocomposites consisting of noble metal (M = Ag, Au) nanoparticles and p-conjugated polymer (poly (3-octylthiophene-2,5-diyl)). We compare the optical and morphological properties of nanocomposites formed by (i) simple mixing of metal organosols and polymer solution, (ii) nanocomposites formed by an in-situ reduction in the polymer solution and (iii) metal hydrosol-polymer interfacial films. The materials were characterized by UV-vis absorption spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, quasielastic light scattering and Raman spectroscopy.
The interaction between polymer and metal nanoparticles in these composites was investigated by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurements. The influence of the presence of phase-transfer reagent (tetraoctylammonium bromide) on the morphology of composite materials will be also discussed.