Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 295–302 | Cite as

In situ growth of Ag nanoparticles in graphene–TiO2 mesoporous films induced by hard X-ray

  • Luca Malfatti
  • Davide Carboni
  • Alessandra Pinna
  • Barbara Lasio
  • Benedetta Marmiroli
  • Plinio Innocenzi
Original Paper: Functional coatings, thin films and membranes (including deposition techniques)


The controlled growth of Ag nanoparticles into graphene–TiO2 mesoporous films has been triggered by hard X-ray exposure provided by a synchrotron storage ring. The kinetic process has been studied by UV–visible spectroscopy as a function of the X-ray dose and compared to the nanoparticle growth induced in a bare mesoporous titania matrix. The graphene layers act as a preferential nucleation sites, allowing a faster nucleation of the nanoparticles. Moreover, the growth of larger nanoparticles is also promoted as a function of the exposure dose. The combined bottom-up and top-down approach to fabricate nanocomposites porous films embedding both graphene and plasmonic nanoparticles is expected to be a fundamental tool for the design of new analytical platforms based on the enhancement of the Raman signals.

Graphical Abstract


Exfoliated graphene Mesoporous films Nanocomposites Silver nanoparticles 



The authors acknowledge the CERIC-ERIC consortium for the access to experimental facilities and financial support. Alberto Mariani is gratefully acknowledged for providing the EG colloidal suspensions. Maria F. Casula is also acknowledged for TEM characterization.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Malfatti
    • 1
  • Davide Carboni
    • 1
  • Alessandra Pinna
    • 1
  • Barbara Lasio
    • 1
  • Benedetta Marmiroli
    • 2
  • Plinio Innocenzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio di Scienza dei Materiali e Nanotecnologie, LMNT-D.A.D.U., CR-INSTMUniversità di SassariAlgheroItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Inorganic ChemistryGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria

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