The materials based on metal nanoparticles have found many applications in chemistry, physics and biology. The nanoscale association of inorganic colloids with polymers affords hybrid materials that combine the properties of both components. In such a way, a catalytic, optical and electronic features of inorganic colloids might be combined with the characteristics of polymers that offer many advantages in processing. The main problems in this field focus on the development of effective methods for the synthesis and stabilisation of metal nanoparticles.
In this paper we consider the methods including simultaneous formation of the polymer matrix and metal nanoparticles. One of them is based on the thermal transformations of metal-containing monomers which includes dehydration, solid phase polymerization, and decomposition of the product which proceed sequentially at varied temperature ranges. The thermolysis resulted in the synthesis of metal nanoparticles with narrow size distribution (the mean particle diameter of 5-10 nm) in the polymer matrix formed in situ. The topography of the initial compounds and metallopolymer composites obtained as well as their composition are analyzed by optical and electron microscopy. The initial stage of nanoparticle nucleation in metallopolymer system was studied using the EXAFS spectroscopy.
The novel approach for synthesis of noble metal polymer-immobilized catalysts via frontal polymerization of acrylamide complexes into surface of inorganic oxides is elaborated. Electron microscopy studies indicate that such polymer-inorganic composites contain Pd nanoparticles which are homogeneously distributed in the polymer matrix.
The hybrid inorganic polymer nanocomposites on the base of titanium oxide and methacrylate polymers containing transition metal ions were obtained and characterized using sol-gel synthesis.
The catalytic, magnetic and other properties of the metallopolymer nanocomposites are also discussed.