Plasmonic-Additive Enabled Polymer Nanocomposites
The last decade has demonstrated extensive progress in the design, synthesis, functionalization, and application of plasmonic particles; with more recent efforts elucidating the multiple pathways to harness/transfer the plasmonic energy to hybridized materials. The ability to extend plasmonic applications beyond solution-based or surface deposited systems, and harness these unique properties within bulk composites will open up new application possibilities ranging from optically responsive components to solar-driven catalytically active structures. This chapter details primary additive stabilization pathways, including the incorporation of grafted polymers and silica capping shells, in order to effectively integrate the plasmonic particles into polymer systems. For commercially relevant PNC processing methods, such as extrusion and injection molding, the addition of silica protective shells are critical to maintain the nanoadditives morphology and correlated plasmonic properties. Recent efforts have shown that this approach allows for the viable integration of plasmonic additives that can survive the harsh mechanical mixing conditions and elevated processing temperatures (exceeding 300 °C) within the PNC processing steps. Opportunities to precisely tailor the resonance properties, control dispersion homogeneity, and facilitate alignment of the materials are established, allowing for the expanded application of plasmonic nanoadditives into functional PNC systems.
KeywordsPlasmonic additives Polymer nanocomposites Gold nanorods
The author would like to thank Dr. Devon Boyne and Dr. Joshua Orlicki of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, whose diligent efforts and creative approaches established the foundational work supporting this chapter.
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