Green synthesis of smart metal/polymer nanocomposite particles and their tuneable catalytic activities

Noel Peter Bengzon Tan, Cheng Hao Lee, Pei Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Herein we report a simple and green synthesis of smart Au and Ag@Au nanocomposite particles using poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/polyethyleneimine (PNIPAm/PEI) core-shell microgels as dual reductant and templates in an aqueous system. The nanocomposite particles were synthesized through a spontaneous reduction of tetrachloroauric (III) acid to gold nanoparticles at room temperature, and in situ encapsulation and stabilization of the resultant gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with amine-rich PEI shells. The preformed gold nanoparticles then acted as seed nanoparticles for further generation of Ag@Au bimetallic nanoparticles within the microgel templates at 60 °C. These nanocomposite particles were characterized by TEM, AFM, XPS, UV-vis spectroscopy, zeta-potential, and particle size analysis. The synergistic effects of the smart nanocomposite particles were studied via the reduction of p-nitrophenol to p-aminophenol. The catalytic performance of the bimetallic Ag@Au nanocomposite particles was 25-fold higher than that of the monometallic Au nanoparticles. Finally, the controllable catalytic activities of the Au@PNIPAm/PEI nanocomposite particles were demonstrated via tuning the solution pH and temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Metal/polymer nanocomposite
  • Reduction of p-nitrophenol
  • Silver/gold bimetallic nanoparticles
  • Smart core-shell microgel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


Dive into the research topics of 'Green synthesis of smart metal/polymer nanocomposite particles and their tuneable catalytic activities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this