Gold (Silver)-Polymer Nanocomposites for Biosensing and Microfluidic Applications
Nanometal-polymer composite films are hybrid materials with inorganic nanoparticles immobilized and uniformly dispersed into a polymer matrix. Nanoparticles such as gold and silver, used to enhance the optical properties of the polymers, are called ‘optically effective additives’ as they lead to new functionalities of the polymer-based materials. On the other hand, metal nanoparticles such as Au or Ag, significantly contribute with their distinctive optical properties. In order to emphasize their major contribution to the overall optical properties of the hybrid material, they are generally called “optically effective additives” . Au (Ag)-polymer and copolymer composite films are suitable for applications such as waveguides, color filters, thermochromic materials etc. The strong plasmon band of Au and Ag nanoparticles (Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance) in the visible spectrum, that originates from the excitation of plasmons by the incident light, makes noble metal-polymer nanocomposites particularly adequate for sensing and biosensing applications. Furthermore, an association of Au and Ag nanoparticles of various shapes with poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), allows the use of nanocomposite materials for microfluidic biosensing as well.