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Embedded metal nanoparticles as localized heat sources: An alternative processing approach for complex polymeric materials

Embedded metal nanoparticles as localized heat sources: An alternative processing approach for complex polymeric materials,10.1016/j.polymer.2011.01.0

Embedded metal nanoparticles as localized heat sources: An alternative processing approach for complex polymeric materials  
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Metal nanoparticles were utilized as heating elements within nanofibers to demonstrate an alternative approach to thermally process nanostructured polymeric materials. In the photothermal process, resonant light excites the surface plasmon of the nanoparticle and the absorbed energy is converted into heat due to electron-phonon collisions. This heating is efficient and strongly localized, generated from the nanometer-sized metal particles embedded within the polymer. Composite polyethylene oxide (PEO) nanofibers, containing differing concentrations and types of nanoparticles, were fabricated by electrospinning and irradiated by a low intensity laser tuned specifically to the metal nanoparticle surface plasmon absorbance; aggregation of fibers, loss of fibrous structure, and ultimately, complete melting were observed. The photothermal response to irradiation increased with nanoparticle concentration as long as particle aggregation was avoided. Pure PEO nanofibers, or those containing metal nanoparticles possessing a non-resonant surface plasmon, were also irradiated but no melting occurred, demonstrating the controllable specificity of this approach.
Journal: Polymer , vol. 52, no. 7, pp. 1674-1685, 2011
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