The introduction of inorganic nanomaterials into polymer matrix has resulted in polymer nanostructured materials exhibiting multi-functional, high performance polymer characteristics beyond what traditional polymer composites possess. Multi-functional features attributable to polymer nanocomposites consist of improved moisture resistance, antibacterial and fungal properties. Zinc oxide powders was prepared via coprecipitation and used as inorganic materials; polyvinylalcohole was used as polymer matrix. The technical approach involves the introduction of nanoparticles into polymer matrix whereby nanoparticles has antibacterial characteristics and enhanced inclusion into the polymer matrix. The objectives of this paper are to summarize our research activities in: (a) developing processes to disperse nanomaterials (undoped and doped zinc oxide powders) in the polymers matrix, (b) using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques to characterize polymer matrix structures, (c) studying structure-property relationship of these types of new materials, and (d) evaluating the antibacterial performance of these materials for different applications. The results also show that the ZnO nanoparticles were uniformly dispersed in the polymer matrix and the particles remained their original size (20–150 nm) before incorporation into the polymer matrix.
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Matei, A., Cernica, I., Cadar, O. et al. Synthesis and characterization of ZnO – polymer nanocomposites. Int J Mater Form 1 (Suppl 1), 767–770 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12289-008-0288-5