A simple and effective method to form metallic nanoparticles onto composites made up of organic polymers and layered inorganic ion exchangers as fillers.
ABSTRACT A new easy method for the preparation of polymeric nanocomposites supporting metal nanoparticles is presented. The method concerns the use of a layered inorganic ion exchanger converted in the proper metallic form and exfoliated to act as filler of organic polymers with twofold aim of obtaining a composite (or nanocomposite) and to have metal ions that can be suitably reduced with a proper reducing agent to form metal nanoparticles. This strategy has been applied to the system polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) filled with layered a-zirconium phosphate in copper form. Several physical techniques (X-ray powder diffraction, atomic force microscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy) have been used to characterize the Cu-nanoparticles, whose dimensions range from 5 to 200 nm for those placed inside or on the surface of the polymeric matrix respectively, depending on the dispersion degree of the inorganic filler. The method is simple and can be used for different polymeric matrices and/or metal ions in order to produce metal/polymer systems with promising technological application.