In situ generation of nanoparticles on and within polymeric materials

Kelarakis, Antonios orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8112-5176 (2024) In situ generation of nanoparticles on and within polymeric materials. Polymers .

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It is well-established that the structural, morphological and performance characteristics of nanoscale materials critically depend upon the dispersion state of the nanofillers that is, in turn, largely determined by the preparation protocol. In this report we review synthetic strategies that capitalize on the in situ generation of nanoparticles on and within polymeric materials, an approach that relies on the chemical transformation of suitable precursors to functional nanoparticles synchronous with the build-up of the nanohybrid systems. This approach is distinctively different compared to standard preparation methods that exploit the dispersion of preformed nanoparticles within the macromolecular host and presents advantages in terms of time and cost effectiveness, environmental friendliness and the uniformity of the resulting composites. Notably, the in situ generated nanoparticles tend to nucleate and grow on the active sites of the macromolecular chains, showing strong adhesion on the polymeric host. So far, this strategy has been explored in fabrics and membranes comprising metallic nanoparticles (silver, gold, platinum, copper, etc.) in relation to their antimicrobial and antifouling applications, while proof-of-concept demonstrations for carbon and silica based nanoparticles as well as titanium oxide, layered double hydroxide, hectorite, lignin and hydroxyapatite based nanocomposites have been reported. The nanocomposites thus prepared are ideal candidates for a broad spectrum of applications such as water purification, environmental remediation, antimicrobial treatment, mechanical reinforcement, optical devices, etc.

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