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New Generation Hybrid Plastics Functionalised by Nanogold and Nanosilver

M. Pobedinsky, J.H. Johnston
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, NZ

Keywords: polyurethane, nylon, gold nanoparticles, silver nanoparticles


This paper reports on the synthesis of a new generation of hybrid plastics comprising polyurethane and nylon with gold or silver nanoparticles respectively, in a synergistic way. The gold and silver nanoparticles are prepared in-situ, and chemically bound to the polymer matrix both on the surface and within the polymer substrate. The size and shape of the metal nanoparticles (and hence the colour of the hybrid plastics) can be controlled by the polymer matrix and the concentration of the metal ions. The nanoparticles range in size from about 2-50 nm for the gold - polymers and about 2-26 nm for the silver-polymers. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy measurements have been used to characterize the interactions between the gold and silver nanoparticles and the polymer matrix. The hybrid plastics are purple (gold) and yellow (silver) in colour consistent with the surface plasmon resonance scattering of light by gold and silver nanoparticles respectively. The nanogold and nanosilver entities do not affect the thermoplastic forming properties of the polymer substrates. The antimicrobial properties of the nanogold and nanosilver plastics have been successfully tested against gram positive and gram negative bacteria.
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